Brink's driver used clear lunch bag to steal more than $1 million from banks, feds say


A driver with Brink's security used his company-issued clear lunch bag to steal more than $1 million from ATMs at Michigan banks and credit unions, officials said.

The driver - who stopped showing up to work after he is believed to have stolen from 24 teller machines on six days - is now being charged in federal court. His last day of work was Dec. 28, the sixth day money was stolen from ATMs.

Authorities say Reginald Carman, 23, stole $1,060,200 in cash from seven federally insured financial institutions while working as a driver who serviced their ATMs, according to a criminal complaint filed in court.

While most of the money has been returned in its "original 'bricked' or 'strapped' condition," authorities say $22,260 was still missing as of the March court filing.

Carman's defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on May 10.

After Carman was caught, the man did admit to a Brink's regional security manager that he had been stealing money, according to court records.

"Carman advised that his father had recently passed away and his mind was not right when he was stealing the money," authorities said. "(He) said he did not spend any of the money and did not think about spending the money."

Authorities note that some of the bricks of cash returned were "loose," and four bricks are short a total of $3,720. This is included in the $22,260 still missing.

Brink's did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on May 10.

The investigation

On Jan. 6, a credit unit representative reported to the FBI that its ATMs have been short about $350,000 since the middle of December, records say. The representative said Brink's notified the credit union of the discrepancy.

The next day, a special agent says he spoke with a Brink's regional security manager. The manager reported he was investigating the earlier incident and identified Carman as the driver who had serviced those machines.

In Dec. 21 video footage, Carman was seen placing what appeared to be a "Brink's clear bag full of currency into a Brink's clear bag/lunch box," according to court records. Those bags are issued to workers so lunch and personal belongings can be seen by surveillance.

"Later in the day, shortly before arriving back at the Brink's Lansing branch, (he) stopped the truck, looked out of the truck windows, grabbed the Brink's clear bag/lunch box, and exited the truck with the Brink's clear bag/lunch box, taking it to what appeared to be a dark-colored truck or sport utility vehicle," officials said.

Brink's security noted the bag appeared "full and heavy," as Carmen used both hands to pick it up, according to the complaint. But earlier footage shows the bag "appeared to be light and mostly empty at the start of Carman's shift."

When Carman was asked to return the money, officials say he gave back about $650,000 - more than Brink's estimated was missing. During the Jan. 6 meeting, Carman "said he could not justify his actions regarding the thefts and that he did not have a reason for stealing the money," according to court records. He also admitted to using the clear bag to steal money, and he signed a statement saying he stole from the ATMs.

As Brink's continued to investigate, authorities identified Carman as a suspect in more thefts at more banks.

"I don't even know at this point," Carman is recorded saying on Jan. 12 when asked which institutions he stole from. He also returned more money and "said he knew that his actions were wrong and that he did not know why he stole money or why he did not stop stealing money."

Carman met with the investigator on several occasions throughout the investigation, turning in more money as it continued, officials said.

Authorities believe Carman is responsible for thefts that occurred from Nov. 15 to Dec. 28. Of the $1,060,200 that was stolen, Carman has returned $1,037,940.

Carman was indicted on 12 counts of bank larceny in federal court on April 19. A jury trial has been scheduled for June 28.

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