North Fort Myers man charged in theft of ATM
A North Fort Myers man is accused of using stolen construction equipment to steal a Punta Gorda bank ATM Christmas morning.
Edward Thomas Lewand, 49, was arrested and charged with the thefts, as well as burglary and criminal mischief, Thursday.
Punta Gorda police said Lewand used a front-end loader from a nearby construction site to remove and steal the ATM from a First Community Bank, located at 3855 Tamiami Trail, at approximately 1:15 a.m.
Lewand allegedly loaded the ATM in his older-model truck, but later abandoned the machine in a vacant lot on San Rocco Drive because of the responding police presence.
All of the money was still inside the machine, police said.
During an investigation of the incident, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office assisted Punta Gorda detectives in determining a partial tag number.
Deputies responded to a call of a suspicious male in a truck at a Punta Gorda Wal-Mart the morning of the ATM theft, and determined it was the same individual and truck from video footage, according to police.
North Port police and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies assisted Punta Gorda police in Lewand’s arrest Thursday.
He was held in the Charlotte County Jail without bond Thursday, according to police.