KSU Students Arrested For ATM Theft

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

Manhattan, KAN. (WIBW) -- Two men Riley County Police have identified as Kansas State University students are now in custody in Sherman County, Kansas.

One of the students was arrested during his chemistry class at the university.

Fernando Martinez, 21, and Eduardo Martinez, 20, are facing several charges after police say they stole an ATM machine from another college.

Captain Kurt Moldrup with the Riley County Police Department says the brothers were both wanted on the same charges after an ATM containing $6,000 was taken from the student union at Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland between August 13-14, 2011.

Reports indicate Fernando Martinez was arrested at Kansas State University's Willard Hall at noon on Wednesday during his chemistry class.

Eduardo Martinez was arrested at the same time at Bluemont Hall.

Both men face charges of Burglary, Theft, Criminal Deprivation of Property and Anticipating to Commit a Misdemeanor. Their bonds are set at $152,000.

They are now in custody in Sherman County, where Goodland is located.

Goodland Police Department' Chief Clifton Couch confirms the two men are brothers and are both from Goodland. He released the following information on his agency's investigation:

"On Wednesday, September 28, the Goodland Police Department and the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office made two arrests in connection with a series of burglaries.

In August of 2011 local Law Enforcement began investigating a string of residential and vehicle burglaries occurring in the Goodland area. In one of the burglaries, the Northwest Kansas Technical College was broken into and an ATM was taken. There were also numerous I-Pads taken from the college during the burglary.

The stolen ATM was later found in Sherman County, outside the city limits. The ATM appeared to have been cut open using a welding torch. Shoeprints were located near the discarded ATM.

During a joint investigation between the Goodland Police Department, Sherman County Sheriff’s Office, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, information was developed indicating that some of the stolen items were possibly being kept at a residence in Goodland. A search warrant was obtained by the Goodland Police Department. When Police Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies served that search warrant, they located several stolen items. Christopher Castaneda, Crystal Bueno, and Hector Sariana were all at the residence when the search warrant was served. They were all subsequently arrested for Possession of Stolen Property.

At the same time, Investigators determined that there was possibly stolen property in a dorm room at the Northwest Kansas Technical College Dorms. College Officials conducted a room search and located several stolen items. They informed the Goodland Police Department. Detective Showalter obtained a search warrant for this dorm room and seized these items. Ricardo Valdez, Jr., a resident of the dorm room in question, was arrested and charged with Possession of Stolen Property.

During this portion of the investigation, Investigators were also able to locate one of the I-Pads stolen from the college.

After conducting further investigation and interviewing suspects, Investigators determined that Fernando Martinez and Eduardo Martinez, both residents of Goodland, were possibly involved in the burglaries which were being investigated. Investigators determined that both had apparently left town recently. Investigators were able to determine that both subjects had moved to Manhattan, KS, where they were attending school at Kansas State University. On September 27, 2011 personnel from the Goodland Police Department and Sherman County Sheriff’s Office were able to obtain arrest warrants for Fernando Martinez and Eduardo Martinez for multiple charges of burglary, theft and deprivation of property. On September 28, 2011 they traveled to Manhattan, KS. The Riley County Police Department and Kansas State University Police took Eduardo Martinez and Fernando Martinez into custody and turned them over to the Goodland area Officers. The subjects were transported back to Goodland, where they were booked into the Sherman County Jail. When Fernando Martinez was taken into custody, he had one of the stolen I-Pads and some other stolen property in his possession. When Eduardo was arrested, he was wearing shoes that matched the imprints found near the discarded ATM and several other burglaries.

Investigators will continue attempting to track down more of the property stolen during these crimes."

In the release, Sherman County Sheriff Kevin Butts said that “the officers involved in this investigation are to be commended. This is a great example of interdepartmental cooperation.”

Goodland Police Chief Clifton Couch added “the numerous law enforcement officials that worked on this investigation did an incredible job. They put in many long nights and an enormous amount of effort to make sure that the people responsible for this crime spree were brought to justice. Any would-be criminals should take note that such crimes will not go unanswered in our community.”

Chief Couch says his department is not "ready to release any details regarding the circumstances of the actual [ATM] theft at this time,"

A search on Kansas State University's website indicates that Fernando Martinez is a junior studying Arts and Sciences. Eduardo Martinez is listed as a freshmen studying Life Sciences.

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