DeKalb man wanted for St. Lawrence University ATM theft caught in Louisiana, awaiting possible extradition
Monday, February 4, 2013 - 5:24 pm

CANTON -- After eluding police for more than two months, a DeKalb man accused of stealing an ATM from the St. Lawrence University bookstore has been caught.

Joseph Lugo, 24, was arrested by Vermilion, La., police after a citizen reported a suspicious person loitering.

Vermilian police identified the suspect as Lugo and found he was wanted in New York  for third-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal mischief in relation to the theft of an ATM loaded with more than $35,000.

In November, police charged Brandon Crandall, 21, with two felony counts of grand larceny and a single felony count of criminal mischief for his alleged participation in the theft, but were unable to locate Lugo, who fled the area.

Police issued an all-points bulletin, which notifies all law enforcement of Lugo's wanted status, and have been waiting for his name to surface.

Canton police were notified late this afternoon that Lugo had been arrested as a fugitive from justice.

Details are still being worked on to return Lugo to Canton from Louisiana. It is unknown if Lugo will waive extradition proceedings or contest his arrest.

Further information is unavailable at this time regarding his activities in Louisiana, but Canton police had known for a few days now that Lugo was in that state.

Canton police are hopeful upon Lugo's return to New York that they may learn more on how he had managed to elude police for such a period of time.

The alleged theft occurred in November when a 265-pound ATM was found in a field behind Crandall's Sykes Road home.

Police said they also found $17,500 in cash at the time and believed Lugo may have had the remainder.

The 265-pound ATM loaded with $20 bills was ripped from the floor at the bookstore and the wires and cables were cut or pulled from the machine.

Employees say the machine was missing when the store opened, but it was assumed it had been removed for maintenance purposes.

Police describe the theft as brazen because the entryway to the bookstore is well lit, and there are numerous street lights in the immediate vicinity.