METHUEN, Mass. (WPRI) — A pair of Canadian men are behind bars after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from ATMs in Massachusetts.
On Saturday, Methuen police arrested Tharushan Nirmalachandran, 30, of Quebec, and Ajitharan Raveendran, 28, of Ontario. Both were charged with possession of a burglarious instrument and receiving stolen property over $1,200.
The two men are being held on $250,000 cash bail and are set to be arraigned Monday.
Methuen police said they found the two men running some sort of ATM fraud operation out of their hotel room. Officials found dozens of cash gift cards, debit cards, and more than $64,000 in cash in the room and in their car.
Police said the pair flew from Toronto to Atlanta before driving up to New England.
“They came up from Georgia,” Methuen Police Capt. Kris McCarthy said. “I don’t think you’re just gonna end up in Methuen from Georgia. I think there were probably several stops along the way.”
Police believe the suspects were stealing money from ATMs along the East Coast.
“We’re assuming that [Monday] morning when the banks reopen, that our investigation will get larger,” McCarthy added.
Police do not believe Nirmalachandran and Raveendran acted alone though. Investigators said the investigation started when a third suspect, Syed Hoque, 23, of Brooklyn, NY, was arrested in Hudson, New Hampshire.
His arrest came after a person saw Hoque repeatedly going to the same ATM and withdrawing cash.
“The citizen alerted the police department and the officer stopped the individual, and through his initial investigation, he could determine that the man had a large sum of money and several ATM debit cards in his possession,” McCarthy said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Rhode Island State Police to find out if any ATMs in Rhode Island could have been compromised. We are still waiting to hear back.