February 3, 2011

'Vending Machine Bandits' Facing More Charges

Additional charges were filed on Tuesday in Memphis in connection to a series of thefts from local vending machines.

Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly J. Nicoli filed class A misdemeanor stealing charges against Oren G. Gamble, Sr., age 54, and Vernon N. Gibson, age 54, both of the Kansas City area. The two men have already been charged with a class C felony of stealing stemming from their January 16, 2011 arrest in Memphis.

Memphis Police officers apprehended the two suspects as they were leaving the MFA Oil parking lot in Memphis.

The two new charges stem from November 28, 2010 when the two suspects were caught on video surveillance breaking into the same Pepsi vending machine at MFA Oil on Highway 136 on the west edge of Memphis.

This initial video footage was used to identify a tan Chevy Blazer that approached the machine. Two men were seen exiting the vehicle. The first suspect, later identified as Oren Gamble, allegedly gained access to the machine and removed the cash, handing the money to a second suspect, later identified as Vernon Gibson, before both men entered the vehicle and departed the crime scene.

Investigators believe the two men were likely hitting other vending machines in town. The police department also has been receiving numerous contacts from other law enforcement agencies across the Midwest related to similar investigations in those jurisdictions.

When arrested, the two men were found in possession of several rings of keys as well as lock picks.

Gibson is still being held in the Scotland County Jail on $25,000 cash only bond. Gamble posted $25,000 cash only bond and was released from the Clark County Detention Center several days after his arrest.

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