Originally created 05/15/98

Police capture suspect



AIKEN -- First he sized up the ATM. Then he looked into the machine's camera really closely. Then he smiled as he whacked the machine with a hammer.

Now police are smiling.

Aiken County sheriff's officers arrested a Monetta man Thursday and charged him with breaking into an automated-teller machine and taking some bad ATM cards.

Investigators arrested Issac Jerome Cullum, 18, at his home after someone identified his picture from a local news broadcast, according to police reports.

The arrest stems from an incident Saturday when a man broke into an ATM owned by SRP Federal Credit Union and removed several ATM cards. The cards were inactive and had been seized by the machine because they had expired or their magnetic strips were unreadable.

The entire incident was captured by the machine's security camera.

Mr. Cullum was charged with malicious injury to real property more than $1,000, which is a felony, said sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank. Because the damage to the machine was probably more than $5,000, Mr. Cullum faces up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted.

Mr. Cullum was jailed at the Aiken County Detention Center. The stolen ATM cards weren't found, authorities said.