Houston area man found guilty in “black box” ATM theft

Published 4:14 pm Saturday, February 20, 2016

BEAUMONT — A Houston area man was found guilty of a “black box” theft of an ATM on Saturday.

Norman Lacharles Baker, 36, of Sugarland, was formerly employed as a contractor repairman with Financial Consulting and Trading International and had been relieved from his job, Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham said.

Baker’s trial was heard in Judge John Stevens’ court during the week and the verdict was handed down Saturday.

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The 2012 Beaumont theft reportedly occurred at a Petro store on Walden Road.

According to krebsonsecurity.com, a “black box” theft is when the suspect gains access to the top of the cash machine. From there they disconnect the ATM’s cash dispenser from the computer core and connect their own computer to the machine in order to steal cash.

Wortham said prosecutors were able to prove Baker was there at the same time as the theft and used doctored paperwork to access the machine.

“This is a real sophisticated type of crime, not a traditional theft case,” Wortham said. “It’s important to protect our community from these typs of crimes.”

Prosecutors established that Baker stole $22,000 and is ordered to pay restitution.

Baker is also a suspect in ATM thefts in other areas. He was arrested on July 2012 in Baytown after officers there accused him of hacking into ATM machines in Austin and Waller counties, according to information from other media reports. He was accused of stealing more than $600,000 in those counties.

It is not known when Baker will go to trial for the other charges.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

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