A Kingston man has been arrested and charged in the alleged conspiracy to steal an ATM safe loaded with $26,000 in cash using a Bobcat and pickup truck on Christmas Day 2013.
The plot to steal the 4,000-pound safe was unsuccessful. But the suspects were able to demolish the stand-alone Y-12 Federal Credit Union automated teller machine near Tractor Supply in east Oak Ridge and pull the safe several hundred feet across a field before the Bobcat tipped over in a small culvert next to Bogola Road. An attempt to remove the cash box with a stolen Ford F250 pickup truck also failed, so the suspects left the area, authorities said.
Stanley Junior Wallace, 25, of Lawnville Road in Kingston, has been charged in the case. He was arrested March 26 and faces charges of attempted theft of more than $10,000, vandalism of more than $10,000, attempted aggravated burglary, auto burglary, conspiracy, aggravated trespassing, and joyriding.
Oak Ridge Police Department Detective William Weaver said he interviewed Wallace at the Anderson County Detention Facility in Clinton on April 21, 2014. Wallace was given his Miranda warning and agreed to speak with Weaver, according to arrest warrants.
The warrants said Wallace called another unidentified suspect on December 24, 2013, to discuss the ATM theft, and “they conspired and agreed that each person would engage in the theft later that night.”
Early Christmas Day, Wallace and the other suspect then allegedly put on gloves and masks and went to Waste Connections on Warehouse Road in Oak Ridge and parked. The warrants said they hopped two fences at Waste Connections to get to the Y-12 Federal Credit Union ATM, which is close to Oak Ridge Turnpike. Once there, they pulled off a back plate with a screwdriver and pulled out an alarm, Weaver said.
Wallace then allegedly went back to Waste Connections, “popped the lock on the gate,” got into the Bobcat, and drove it out the gate, Weaver said. The suspects also unlawfully entered and drove a Ford F250 truck out of the Waste Connections lot, according to the warrants.
The suspects then damaged the ATM with the F250 and the Bobcat and were able to break the ATM cash box off its foundation.
Wallace said he tried to load the cash box into the pickup truck, according to the warrants, but that effort failed and the Bobcat flipped over. The attempt to pull the cash box with the pickup truck was also unsuccessful.
At the time, officials said the suspects apparently wrapped a chain around the safe after the Bobcat tipped over, and they tried to pull it out of the ditch with the stolen pickup truck.
“But when that safe when into the mud, they weren’t able to remove it,” said Steve Shaver, director of special services at Y-12 Federal Credit Union.
The attempted theft is believed to have occurred at about 4:35 a.m. Christmas Day 2013. That’s when the Y-12 Federal Credit Union system went offline at that ATM.
Authorities said then that no cash was taken from the ATM, and Y-12 Federal Credit Union officials had accounted for all of the money.
Shaver said the suspects were not able to get inside the steel-and-concrete safe, which is very difficult to penetrate and uses double combinations.
Later that morning, the ATM appeared to be completely off its foundation, and crumpled debris from the machine was strewn across the nearby field.
Shaver said the Bobcat had tongs, and the suspects apparently used them to pull the ATM from its island mount and then used the tongs to remove the outer skin, which is made of sheet metal and plexiglass, exposing the gray safe.
Shaver said he first heard about the attempted theft from the Oak Ridge Police Department, which responded at about 6 a.m. Christmas Day to a report of vandalism and attempted theft. Someone apparently spotted the turned-over Bobcat and called it in as a possible accident, Shaver said.
Weaver said the cost to replace the ATM was close to $39,000. He said the damage to the Waste Connections Bobcat and F250 was roughly $7,000.
Wallace remained jailed in the Anderson County Detention Facility on Wednesday afternoon. He is also facing attempted burglary charges in connection to an incident that occurred in October in Oak Ridge.
Bogola Road is the Oak Ridge Turnpike entrance to the city’s Waste Connections convenience center.