A Bonners Ferry man is in federal custody after investigators say he and an accomplice broke into ATMs and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in a seven-state string of heists beginning in May.
Nathan Davenport, 34, was arrested in Utah after a harrowing shootout on Jan. 10 near McCall, Idaho, according to U.S. District Attorney Wendy J. Olson of Idaho.
Davenport allegedly used power tools and a chain attached to a pickup truck to break into an ATM in McCall, about 100 miles north of Boise, making off with more than $26,000. The alleged theft matches the strategy used in a number of similar incidents involving ATMs at locations in Montana, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Colorado and Wyoming.
Local police gave chase following the McCall theft, and Davenport is accused of leaving the truck and firing an assault rifle at pursuers. Patrol cars were disabled by the gunfire, and Davenport and his alleged accomplice, Matthew Annable, were on the lam until their capture in Orem, Utah, two days later.
Authorities have pieced together a timeline of thefts they think were carried out by Davenport based upon cellphone records, hotel bills and rental car agreements.
In early December, Davenport rented a late-model black Chevy Tahoe in Hayden Lake from a Spokane company. Investigators think Davenport met up with Annable in Casper, Wyo., then stole from ATMs in nearby Douglas and in Castle Rock, Colo., a city about 30 miles south of Denver.
The truck was returned 10 days later with 3,739 miles added to the odometer.
Surveillance cameras showed a different white truck, reported stolen, used to drag the door off an ATM in Douglas, Wyo. A masked man can be seen approaching the opened machine to grab the exposed cash bins inside. Many of the ATM thefts shared some characteristics, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent: They targeted the same-model machines; a power tool was used to cut the machines’ hinge pins; then the door was yanked off using a stolen Ford pickup.
That method and target matched plots carried out in Billings and Missoula; near San Antonio; in Niceville, Fla.; and in several towns in Mississippi reported from May to November last year.
In total, the thefts investigators have linked to Davenport through phone records and police reports total more than $300,000. The affidavit says the crime spree could be as large as 20 ATM thefts netting more than $500,000. Davenport’s wife is also listed as a potential accomplice in court documents, but she has not been charged in federal court.
When pulled over for speeding in Wyoming shortly before the December spree of thefts, Davenport told the highway patrolman he had recently moved to Idaho and could not recall his address. Investigators have linked him to a residence in Bonners Ferry and think he may have also rented vehicles in Coeur d’Alene used to steal money from two ATMs in Meridian, Idaho, this month.
Both Davenport and Annable are being held in Wyoming pending further legal proceedings. They are being held without bond, according to court officials.