Crime & Courts

Georgia man accused of stealing forklift to rip ATM from Chester bank

Thomas Chester County Sheriff’s Office

One of two men accused of using a stolen forklift to rip an ATM from a Chester County bank last week has been jailed on multiple charges, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.

Nathan Eric Thomas, 48, of Thomas Road in Jonesboro, Ga., is charged with two counts of grand larceny, burglary/safecracking, malicious injury to personal property valued at $10,000 or more, and four counts of criminal conspiracy, according to law enforcement records.

Deputies allege Thomas stole a forklift in Chester County late last week and then used the equipment to remove an ATM from a bank, according to arrest warrants. Thomas and a second suspect – who has not been arrested or publicly named by authorities – are accused of conspiring to steal the forklift and the ATM, the warrants state.

Authorities say the ATM was stolen from the Founders Federal Credit Union located on JA Cochran Bypass about 4 a.m. Friday. Deputies were told the ATM had been stolen and a GPS tracker device inside the machine indicated it was moving.

Then, deputies saw a truck with a large box in the back traveling down Old Richburg Road, a sheriff’s office states. After police started following the truck, it ran off the roadway and into a ditch, striking a fence. Two people dressed in black exited the truck and ran into a wooded area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Thomas was arrested later that day, records show.

The ATM, valued at $50,000, had more than $113,000 cash in it, deputies say.

Check back later for updates.

Teddy Kulmala: 803-329-4082, @teddy_kulmala