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News 9 KWTV - Oklahoma City

2 Men Charged With ATM Jackpotting Scheme; Accused Of Stealing $60k From Metro ATM Machines


Two men are under investigation after hitting the jackpot at local convenience stores—but not in the legal way. Oklahoma City police said on Monday there is a crime ring involved in what they call ATM jackpotting.

Oklahoma County prosecutors have charged two men—the alleged ring leaders of the ATM jackpotting scheme—with four felony crimes following their arrests in May. Police are working to identify the remaining suspects known as the “cash out crew.”

“These machines carry tens of thousands of dollars in them,” Master Sgt. Gary Knight with Oklahoma City Police Department said.

Police said the large amount of cash was what lured Johnny Romero and Dannys Ramirez to hit ATMs at OnCue stores around the metro.

According to court documents, one of the suspects opened the machine and installed malware while the other acted as a lookout.

“Basically, instructs it to dispense all of the cash in it,” Knight said. “And it does it often in $800 increments.”

Police said the two men would start the process and then the "cash out crew" would withdraw the remaining cash over several hours. Store security cameras confirmed the dates and times of the illegal withdrawals. The banks were unaware of the cyber-attacks for several hours after $60,000 was stolen.

“It’s important for the public to know they’re not withdrawing out of someone’s account,” Knight said.

Police ask the public and store clerks to stay aware of unusual ATM activity.

“If a clerk at a convenience store, which is where this happens so often, notices a person lingering at an ATM for half an hour or 45 minutes,” Knight said. “That might be something they should be suspicious of.”

Investigators said the crimes could lead to federal charges.

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