METHUEN (CBS) – Police arrested two men suspected of stealing thousands of dollars from ATMs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Hudson Police in New Hampshire were investigating a string of thefts from ATMs by an organized group when they learned the suspects were working out of a room at Days Inn in Methuen.
On Saturday, police executed a search warrant and arrested Tharushan Nirmalachandran, 30, of Quebec and Ajitharan Raveendran, 28, of Ontario. Both were charged with possession of a burglarious instrument and receiving stolen property over $1,200.
Police Capt. Kristopher McCarthy said, “During the investigation and the search warrants, approximately $52,000 was recovered.”
One of the men had Canadian identification and the other had none. Methuen Police worked with the Department of Homeland Security to identify them.
While executing an additional search warrant for Nirmalachandran’s rental car, police found a large amount of cash inside duffel bags as well as gift cards, debit cards, a printing device, and an electronic device used to activate and utilize bank cards.
Both men were staying at the Days Hotel in Methuen, where police found cash cards in the dumpster. “They evidently stole the cards, added money to the cards, placed them in the ATM and withdrew the cash from the ATM,” said McCarthy.
The pair is being held on $250,000 bail. Both men are expected to be arraigned on Monday.
Police do not believe Nirmalachandran and Raveendran acted alone though. Investigators said this whole thing started when a third suspect was arrested in Hudson, N.H. after a citizen saw him repeatedly going to a DCU ATM and withdrawing cash.
“The citizen alerted the police department and the officer stopped the individual and through his initial investigation, he could determine that the man had a large sum of money and several ATM debit cards in his possession,” McCarthy said.
Police then arrested 23-year-old Syed Hoque of Brooklyn, N.Y. He is also expected to be arraigned on Monday.
According to police, it appears all three were traveling throughout New England stealing money. A total of $64,000 was recovered but there could be more.
McCarthy said, “It appears that they are stealing the debit cards from local stores. And then they were manipulating it with, they had some type a scanning device that they put on a laptop, and they were able to process money onto the cars and then use them at ATMs as withdrawals.”