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Canton ATM recovered; second suspect sought

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CANTON — One man was arrested in the theft of an ATM containing $35,000 in $20 bills, village police said, while another suspect was still at large Thursday and may still have half of the machine’s money.

Brandon Crandall, 21, Main Street, Canton, was arrested and arraigned before Pierrepont Town Justice Robert Camp on Wednesday evening for his alleged role in the Saturday morning heist of a North Country Savings Bank automated teller machine from a vestibule outside the Brewer Bookstore at St. Lawrence University.

Police are still searching for Joseph C. Lugo, 24, whose address was not released. He is believed to have left the area.

Mr. Crandall and Mr. Lugo allegedly entered the bookstore sometime Saturday morning and wrenched the 265-pound ATM from the floor, taking it out through the front door and driving off in a pickup truck.

Records show the machine was last used at 9:41 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, the chief said. Its absence was not reported to police until 2:45 p.m. the next day. Employees noticed the ATM was missing when they opened the store Saturday morning, but initially believed it had been removed for maintenance.

With Mr. Crandall’s arrest, police recovered the damaged ATM machine, $17,600 in cash, 1 pound of marijuana and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned on charges of felony criminal mischief and grand larceny, with other charges pending. He was released to the supervision of the St. Lawrence County Probation Department for a later court appearance.

Mr. Lugo, who is wanted for third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal mischief, may have fled on a motorcycle and may be armed, police said.

Interim Canton Police Chief Victor N. Rycroft said the arrest resulted from cooperation among several agencies, including the SLU Security Department, whose members spent hours reviewing video surveillance footage.

State police Investigators in Ray Brook contacted Canton Police after hearing of the SLU theft, which bore some similarity to an attempted ATM theft outside Lake Placid earlier this month. Investigators identified suspects based on that collaboration, police said.

The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and county Drug Task Force also assisted in the investigation.

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