ALEA warns of crime ring involving vehicle theft and burglary, thefts of firearms


CULLMAN, Ala. – The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said this week it has identified a theft ring committing crimes across multiple jurisdictions along the Interstate 65 corridor from Cullman to Clanton and the surrounding Birmingham areas.

“These crimes have included the thefts of numerous vehicles, vehicle burglaries and the thefts of numerous firearms. It has been determined that the majority of the victims have left their vehicles unsecured with ignition keys, purses and firearms inside the vehicle. The majority of the crimes have occurred between the hours of 11 p.m.-4 a.m.,” said a public safety bulletin from the agency.

Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said his office has been working with ALEA.

“Our investigators have been actively investigating these cases and working with ALEA to solve the one vehicle theft we had that could be connected to these suspects,” said Gentry. “We have posted the video of the suspects to our social media, passed it along to Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama (Birmingham), and also shared it with ALEA as well.” 

ALEA recommends that all citizens secure their vehicles.

“In addition, do not leave the keys to the vehicles, purses and firearms inside of your vehicles. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement,” the bulletin said.

Cullman Police Department Capt. Gene Bates said most of the time, cars broken into in the city are targeted because they are unlocked. The CPD is unsure at this time how many of its cases, if any, are tied to the theft ring.

“Most of the time, these guys are going around, testing door handles, and if it’s unlocked, they get inside,” said Bates. “It’s especially dangerous if people leave firearms in an unlocked vehicle. If someone is brave enough to steal a firearm, there’s no telling what they’re going to do with it. It can end up in the wrong hands.”

If anyone has any information on the suspects committing these crimes, ALEA requests that you leave a tip at 1-800-392-8011.

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Wendy Sack