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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 4, 2013

Las Vegas Man Admits To ATM Theft In Idaho

Plea Resolves Twenty-one ATM Thefts in Six Western States

BOISE — U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that Clarence Edward Lancaster, 57, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty in United States District Court today to one count of bank larceny for stealing an ATM from the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho, on July 22, 2012. In that instance, Lancaster used several tools to force open an ATM owned by First Federal Bank, to steal the cash inside. The plea agreement resolves 21 ATM thefts committed in Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, Oregon, and Arizona.

Lancaster was apprehended by law enforcement in January 2013 for a burglary on the campus of Eastern Arizona College. In that incident, Lancaster had entered a building in an attempt to steal from an ATM machine, but was observed by a college professor who called campus police. At a subsequent interview conducted by a Boise FBI agent and Eastern Arizona College police officer, Lancaster confessed to a number of similar ATM thefts, including thefts at Idaho State University, in Pocatello, and Boise State University. The FBI identified Lancaster as the perpetrator in other ATM thefts by geographically tracking his banking transactions and matching the dates and locations with ATM theft reports showing similar patterns of conduct. Lancaster also admitted an ATM theft at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene.

As part of the plea agreement, Lancaster admitted to 21 separate events of ATM theft from June 2012 through January 2013, in Idaho, Wyoming, Washington, Utah, Oregon and Arizona, for a total loss of $216,178.84 — $124,000 in U.S. currency, $88,366.84 for damages caused to ATM machines, and $3,612 of property damage to the buildings and equipment where the thefts took place. According to the plea agreement, Lancaster admitted to an additional theft of property from the Lied Animal Shelter, in Las Vegas, which he later pawned; unrecovered property loss was $189. The aforementioned figures are preliminary, as victims have the opportunity to submit impact statements for consideration at Lancaster’s sentencing hearing.

The maximum penalty for bank larceny is ten years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. As part of the plea agreement, Lancaster agreed to pay restitution of $216,367.84, and agreed to forfeiture of the cash proceeds of his crimes, at least $124,200.

Lancaster is scheduled to be sentenced on January 28, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boise Police Department, Pocatello Police Department, Twin Falls Police Department, Eastern Arizona College Campus Police, and Boise State campus security.