LAKE PLACID - A Canton man is facing multiple felony charges for trying to break into an ATM here, and for stealing another ATM in his hometown.
Meanwhile, police are still searching for his accomplice.
Brandon Crandall, 21, was arrested by state police at 9:56 a.m. Wednesday. He was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony, and fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony. The Enterprise initially reported Crandall's arrest on Saturday but police said then that couldn't provide any more information on the case because the investigation was ongoing and they needed to obtain more witness statements.
State police Investigator Jonathan Garrow told the Enterprise this morning that Crandall and another suspect, Joseph C. Lugo, both wearing masks and ski goggles, drove up to an ATM at NBT Bank on Saranac Avenue around 2 a.m. on Nov. 10. They tried to use a blowtorch and a metal pry bar to break into the machine but were unsuccessful, Garrow said.
"They caused extensive damage to the machine, which, in turn, caused the bank to take it out of service and have it replaced," he said.
Using video surveillance from the bank, police were able to identify the vehicle Crandall and Lugo used that night.
On Nov. 16, state police spotted that vehicle driving erratically in the town of Canton. Lugo, who was driving, was pulled over on a traffic stop and charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and failure to keep right. Crandall was a passenger in the vehicle, which was subsequently impounded, Garrow said.
Lugo was arraigned on the charges stemming from the traffic stop but, despite a recommendation he be remanded to jail, he was released by a judge to appear in court at a later date, Garrow said.
That night, in the early morning hours of Nov. 17, Lugo and Crandall allegedly broke into the Brewer Bookstore on the St. Lawrence University campus and stole an ATM from the building. After hearing about the case, Garrow said he advised Canton Village Police that Crandall and Lugo could be suspects in the theft.
Three days later, as Crandall was being questioned by Canton police about unrelated marijuana investigations, he allegedly provided police with information about his and Lugo's role in the attempted ATM break-in in Lake Placid and the theft of the St. Lawrence bookstore ATM.
"He's been very cooperative with this investigation," Garrow said. "He confessed to his role and implicated Lugo as a participant in both crimes."
Police subsequently recovered the bookstore ATM and $17,600 the men had removed from the machine.
Crandall was arraigned last week in North Elba Town Court and released under the supervision of probation.
Lugo was still on the loose. Garrow said warrants for his arrest have been issued by both North Elba town and Canton village courts.
"It was a cooperative investigation between state police and the Canton Village Police, and that's what led us to a good investigation," Garrow said.
Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.