Two Indicted in Store Break-In, ATM Cash Theft
PROVIDENCE, RI – A federal grand jury in Providence today returned a four-count indictment charging two Albanian nationals from New York with allegedly conspiring to break into a Smithfield, R.I., Target department store in October by cutting a hole in the roof, prying open an ATM inside the store and stealing more than $14,000 in cash, and breaking through a wall inside the store to gain access to a pharmacy and attempting to steal more than $500 worth of controlled substances.
Smithfield Police Department officers responding to a burglary alarm allegedly located the men hiding inside air conditioning units on the roof of the building.
The indictment charges Epirot Krasniqi, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Liridon Gashi, 32, of Bronx, N.Y., with 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.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Smithfield Police Chief Richard P. St.Sauveur, Jr., and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division announced the indictment.
According to the indictment, sometime after the store closed on October 9, 2017, and in the early morning hours of October 10, Krasniqi and Gashi, allegedly equipped with portable two-way radios and hand tools, cut through the roof of the store and used the tools to force open an ATM, and to forcibly break through the wall of a pharmacy inside the store and break open a locked container holding controlled substances.
It is alleged in the indictment that the pair stole approximately $14,720 from the ATM.
According to the indictment, it is alleged that the defendants fled from the store to the roof where they concealed themselves and items they had stolen inside air conditioning units. Krasniqi and Gashi were discovered and arrested by Smithfield Police Department officers who responded to an electronic burglary alarm and searched the premises. The defendants were initially charged in Rhode Island state court and released on bail.
Epirot Krasniqi was arrested today in New York by FBI agents on a federal arrest warrant issued by the U.S. District Court in Providence. He was ordered detained in federal custody during an initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Liridon Gashi.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
The matter was investigated by the Smithfield Police Department, with the assistance of the Rhode Island FBI Safe Streets Task Force.