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Highly organized burglary ring hits North Texas businesses

A Tulsa-based burglary ring suspected of stealing millions in cash and merchandise in four states may have also targeted two Tarrant County businesses.

Federal court documents depict a highly organized ring that has burglarized banks, automated teller machines and businesses in North Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas over the past several years.

A police affidavit connects the burglaries to three men: Matthew G. Moreland, 20, who lists both Mannford and Tulsa as recent addresses; Jerry Clyde Stephenson Jr., 39, and Victor Revilla Jr., 39, both of Tulsa.

While the three men were in Dallas on June 30, a thief or thieves took more than $168,000 from the Southwest Airlines Credit Union in Euless, according to a federal search warrant affidavit.

"The burglars used power tools to cut through the lock on the front door, disabled the alarm and the outside lights, and then drilled through the safe," said Lt. John Williams, Euless police spokesman.

Spare change

Federal officials say they suspect the ring in two thefts from Hans Feustel Racing Engines, 3008 Joyce Drive in Fort Worth.

On Dec. 27, 2006, the steel rear entrance to the Hans Feustel building was pried open, an alarm was disabled and four racing engines, parts, and tools were stolen, the affidavit said.

About a year-and-a-half later, in June 2008, the same thieves hit the Hans Feustel building again, authorities say, taking engines, tools, auto parts and $10,000 in money orders. In this burglary, an upgraded alarm system was disabled. The estimated loss from both burglaries was $300,000, the affidavit said.

Business owner Mary Feustel told law enforcement personnel that in each burglary, a cup containing spare change was taken from a wall shelf and each time placed in the exact same place on a table. She knew from that idiosyncrasy that the same burglars were responsible for both thefts.

Law enforcement officers determined that $5,000 in money orders taken from Feustel was used at Show N Go, a Tulsa auto parts store, and then given as payment to the store's vendors, the affidavit said.

Banks burglarized

But North Texas was only a pit stop for this burglary ring, according to authorities.

Since December 2007, banks in Tulsa, Shell Knob, Mo., Fayetteville, Ark., and Texarkana have been burglarized by a group of people who forcibly enter the buildings, deactivate burglar alarm systems and spend "hours inside the banks cutting through vaults, walls and cash dispensers with power tools," according to the affidavit.

About three years ago, the three men were arrested after an attempted burglary of an automated teller machine owned by the United Missouri Bank in Jefferson City, Mo., according to the affidavit.

Stephenson and Revilla were later convicted, and Moreland, who was a juvenile then, confessed to being a part of the attempted burglary.

This report includes material from staff writer Mitch Mitchell and The Associated Press.

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