Second Guilty Plea in Department Store Break-in, ATM & Pharmacy Robbery
PROVIDENCE, RI – The second of two men charged with cutting their way through a roof into a Target department store in Smithfield, R.I., prying open an ATM inside the store and stealing more than $14,000, and cutting through a wall into a CVS Pharmacy located inside the store and stealing a controlled substance pleaded guilty today in federal court in Providence.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Liridon Gashi, 33, of Bronx, NY, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit larceny from a financial institution, bank larceny, conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances, and burglary involving controlled substances.
Gashi’s guilty plea is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Smithfield Police Chief Richard P. St. Sauveur, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Harold H. Shaw.
A co-defendant in this matter, Epirot Krasniqi, 27, of Brooklyn, NY, pleaded guilty on May 11, 2018.
According to court documents, in the early morning hours of October 10, 2017, Gashi and Krasniqi, equipped with hand tools and two-way radios, cut through the roof of the Target store and then forced open an ATM from which they stole $14,720. The two men then cut through the wall of a CVS Pharmacy inside the store, broke open a locked cabinet holding controlled substances and stole a prescription package of Oxycodone. The two men then fled to the roof of the store.
While the burglary and robbery were taking place, Smithfield police officers responded to a report of an electronic burglary alarm and began to search the premises. After discovering the hole in the roof, officers began searching approximately 30 air conditioning units located on the roof. The two men were found hiding inside separate air conditioning units. Also discovered inside the store and in various air conditioning units on the roof were the tools used in the break-in of the store and the ATM, the cash stolen from the ATM, and the drugs stolen from the pharmacy.
Krasniqi and Gashi were charged and arraigned in Rhode Island state court and released on bail. Federal arrest warrants were issued for both men following the return of a federal indictment on November 7, 2017. Krasniqi was arrested by FBI agents in New York that same day. Gashi was located and arrested by FBI agents in San Francisco, CA, on March 7, 2018.
Krasniqi is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on September 20, 2018. Gashi is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14, 2018.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ly T. Chin and Denise M. Barton.
Gashi is detained in federal custody. Krasniqi is detained in Pennsylvania state custody awaiting trial for burglary and related charges in connection with a break-in at a Turkey Hill, Pa., convenience store that occurred on November 24, 2014.