St. Louis – The FBI in St. Louis says the weekend kidnapping of two teenage girls is connected to the August robbery of ATM Solutions.
The girls are related to someone connected to the robbery, said Special Agent in Charge Dennis Baker. Four armed men took the 13 and 16-year-olds at gunpoint from a relative's home in St. Louis County on Sunday night. They were rescued at separate locations, unharmed, about 30 hours later.
One of the kidnappers is a suspect in a home invasion in Bellefontaine Neighbors that occurred just after the girls were rescued, Baker said. He forced the three occupants living there to drive him into the city.
Those three women were in the wrong place at the wrong time and are not connected in any way to the robbery, Baker said. He said the man needed the ride to get away.
Law enforcement, he said, is close to identifying the four kidnappers.
"I want the individuals that did this kidnapping to know that we are actively pursuing it and that's why I'm making this statement today because they need to know they're not escaping scot free," he said. He would not say if the kidnappers and the robbers are suspected if being the same people.
The kidnapping investigation also led to a fourth arrest in the case. James Wright, 32, of St. Louis, had an outstanding warrant for interstate transportation of stolen property.
The FBI has yet to track down the millions of dollars that were stolen, Baker said.
"There is no doubt that there is still money out there from that is out there, and the fact that this money is out there is generating additional crimes," he said. "There is no doubt about it."
Baker said the FBI is investigating whether the escape of John Wesley Jones, who is also a suspect in the case, may have led to the latest spate of crimes. Jones, who is being held on weapons charges unrelated to the case, was recaptured. He has yet to be charged in the robbery.