Four people have been charged in Anchorage federal court with crimes tied to thefts of bank automated teller machines.
The first of two cases filed Tuesday charges Jerd Thacker, Cristi Cozzeti and Jordan Cook with possession of stolen bank property — an ATM taken from First National Bank Alaska off Old Seward Highway on March 1, according to the charges.
An Alaska state trooper arrested them on a property near Big Lake where an allegedly stolen truck and the ATM were found, according to a criminal complaint written by FBI special agent Barry Vaughan.
The stolen truck belonged to Adrian Cheyne Turnbow, who is charged in a separate federal case with bank larceny for another ATM theft on Piper Street in Anchorage on Monday morning. Authorities allege Turnbow was caught in the act of dislodging the cash machine with heavy equipment.
Here's how Turnbow was allegedly linked to the people arrested near Big Lake:
On March 1, Anchorage police responded to the First National Bank on Old Seward at 5:47 a.m. and discovered an ATM had been ripped from its base and tire tracks from heavy machinery were left in the snow, Vaughan wrote. The officers followed the tracks behind a nearby strip mall and found parts of an ATM machine, the charges say.
Law enforcement tracked an excavator that same morning as it drove to an asphalt company in South Anchorage, where more remnants of an ATM were later found, according to the charges.
Details of what happened next are based on police interviews with Thacker and Cozzeti. Thacker was picked up at an Anchorage gas station by Turnbow the morning the First National Bank ATM went missing, he told police. The ATM was in the back of Turnbow's truck, covered by a tarp, the charges say.
Thacker told police Turnbow bragged about making off with two additional ATMs, one from Denali Federal Credit Union and another from a bank in northeast Anchorage, the thefts of which were being investigated by federal authorities, according to the charges.
Turnbow, according to Thacker, said he bought a truck, guns and clothes with the cash he obtained.
The two men traveled north toward the Mat-Su with the ATM in the truck bed, in search of heavy equipment parked near the highway that they could use to crack open the ATM, according to the charges.
But they couldn't find any equipment to steal, so Turnbow stopped at a Caterpillar business on the Parks Highway, north of Wasilla, according to the charges. That's when Thacker took off with his acquaintance's newly purchased truck and called Cozzeti and Cook. The three decided to take the ATM to a property owned by Cozzeti's family near Big Lake, the charges say.
Vaughan did not detail how the trooper was led to the property. But Turnbow reported his truck stolen shortly after he was ditched at the heavy-equipment business.
According to court records, police had issued an arrest warrant for Cozzeti because she missed court-required substance abuse classes. Cozzeti told police she and her boyfriend, Cook, had been promised a portion of the ATM money if they helped open it, the charges say.
The FBI special agent's complaint says all four defendants use heroin.
"Turnbow provided little useful information when interviewed and changed his story several times," Vaughan wrote.
Turnbow has not been charged with any other ATM thefts except the Piper Street incident.
The charging document in Thacker's case says police found machines from both unsolved cases at an excavating company Turnbow used to work for. The charges indicate the company called authorities when they found the ATMs on their property.