Iowa Man Wins at Casino After Botching Theft of Bank ATMs, Deputies Say

Home » Iowa Man Wins at Casino After Botching Theft of Bank ATMs, Deputies Say

Posted on: March 4, 2022, 02:38h. 

Last updated on: March 4, 2022, 02:38h.

Two Iowa men initially had back luck when they failed in an attempt to yank an ATM machine out of a bank wall using a chain attached to a stolen pickup truck, authorities said this week. But later that January day, their luck changed when one of them hit a jackpot on a slot machine at Meskwaki Bingo Casino in Tama.

It started with them stealing the city of Dike-owned truck
Meskwaki Bingo Casino in Tama, Iowa, pictured above. One man won while playing a slot machine at the gaming property. Hours before he and another man committed several burglaries, deputies said. (Image: Travel Iowa)

On Tuesday, their bad luck returned when authorities arrested the duo, Ryan Marek, 30, and Brandon Hufstedler, 36, both of Mason City, for the Jan. 5 burglaries, according to the Grundy Register, a local newspaper in Iowa.

It was Marek who won at the gaming property. But casino staff would not pay him because he could not produce an ID. He returned later, with acceptable identification, and collected the money.

Hours before, the pair allegedly took part in burglaries or attempted burglaries in Grundy County. It started with them stealing the city of Dike-owned truck, deputies said.

Attached Chain to Bank ATM

They then used the pickup truck in an attempt to pull an ATM out of the lobby wall at Fidelity Bank and Trust, deputies claim. They had attached a chain to the ATM and hit the gas. But that didn’t work, and all they did was break the bank’s glass door, the Register said. They also were unsuccessful at their similar attempt to steal an ATM from Peoples Savings Bank in Dike, deputies said.

They also allegedly tried to knock down an overhead door at Easton Technical Products in Dike by driving into it. That also failed. They tried to force open a regular door at the business, but that didn’t work either, deputies said.

At one point during the burglary spree, they allegedly broke into a private residence in Dike. Later, they broke into Reinbeck Memorial Hall in nearby Reinbeck, deputies said. They allegedly took a small amount of cash and alcohol from the hall.

Facing Numerous Charges

Now, both are charged with second-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree burglary, operation without owner’s consent, third-degree attempted burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and possession of burglar tools, according to the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office. If convicted, both could face several years in prison.

Marek was apprehended in Garner, Iowa and charged for the burglary spree. He was being held early this week. Bond was set at $90,000.

Hufstedler was already being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on unrelated charges, when he was charged on the new counts, KCRG, a local TV station, reported.

The stolen pickup later was found by deputies. It had been abandoned.

In an unrelated crime, last April a 43-year-old East Moline, Ill. man allegedly chased a woman inside and outside of Davenport, Iowa’s Rhythm City Casino. Jeromy Anderson was armed with an axe and a knife. Anderson was charged with going armed with intent, carrying a weapon, disorderly conduct, and domestic abuse — assault with intent or weapon. It is not immediately known what happened to the court case.

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