Stealing whole ATMs full of cash may sound like a deviously brazen scheme, but when the suspect also steals an American Legion Hall’s donation box of eyeglasses for veterans, well, that’s where we draw the line.
San Francisco made all manner of national headlines in June when a guy rode a bike into a Walgreens and cleared a rack of items from the Health and Wellness aisle in front of a security guard. To which San Jose says, “Hold my beer.” NBC Bay Area reports that a suspect has been charged with stealing entire ATMs filled with cash, in a spree that covered six different cities in Santa Clara County.
This may sound like a clever and victimless crime worthy of a Hollywood movie. But according to a press release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, 42-year-old suspect Charles Edward Hastings is also “believed to have forced entry into the American Legion Hall in Santa Clara,” and allegedly “stole $10,800 from the ATM and a donation box containing eyeglasses for veterans.” Come on, man!
The ATM thefts are pretty recent, occurring between October 31, 2021 and February 3, 2022. Hastings allegedly had multiple unnamed accomplices, and is charged with 20 burglaries of commercial businesses. Not all of these are ATM thefts, as the DA’s office says Hastings stands accused of “burglarizing multiple stores and taking high-end items, such as jewelry, guitars, and bicycles.”
Hastings’ total stolen haul is estimated at $189,654, but he also stands accused of doing $65,200 in damage to the businesses he allegedly robbed.
While he remains in custody without bail, Hastings will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice.
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