A recent Illinois felony parolee went back to jail after he and another Illinois man reportedly attempted to rip the ATM out of the Fastlane Gas Station in Laddonia on Thursday, January 3.
Ronald Edwards, age 66, of Springfield, Ill., was arrested along with Cory Galloway, age 29, also of Springfield, Ill., after the alleged robbery when Audrain County Sheriff’s deputies saw the two fleeing Fastlane.
Deputy Sheriff Christopher Johnson wrote in an official probable cause statement that he observed headlights near the front of the gas station while responding to the business’ burglary alarm.
Johnson noted he then saw a 2006 Chevy Avalanche with Illinois plates leave the store and start south on Highway 54.
Deputy Sheriff Andy Femrite, who also responded to the alarm, stopped the Avalanche, as Johnson pulled into the gas station to investigate.
Johnson said upon his arrival, he saw the top portion of the ATM and a piece of yellow strap lying outside of the front
doors of the business.
He said an identical strap was located between the tonneau cover and tailgate of the Chevy, as well as noticeable damage to the driver’s side of the tailgate.
While investigating the incident at the business, Johnson retrieved video surveillance showing Edwards breaking into Fastlane and placing a tow strap around the gas station’s ATM near the front doors.
After failing four times to rip the ATM out of place, the robbers gave up and attempted to drive away, at which point the two were stopped by the deputies.
An estimated $1,520 was in the ATM at the time of the attempted robbery. Johnson said $3,000 worth of damage was done to the gas station, which was recently remodelled.
Both men are being held at the Audrain County jail on a $60,000 cash-only bond.
Audrain County Prosecutor Jacob Shellabarger said the two each face five felony charges:
• Class C felony burglary in the second degree
• Class D felony attempted theft of property with a value of more than $500 but less than $25,000 — the ATM cost $750
• Class D felony possession of burglary tools
• Class D felony property damage in the first degree
• Class D felony tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution.
“When they were leaving the scene, they tossed some items out of the truck, so that’s why I charged them with (tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution),” Shellabarger said.
Both will have a preliminary hearing in front of Judge Linda Hamlett at 9 a.m. February 8.
Edwards was released from prison in May after serving half of a 40 year sentence for the 1975 murder of an Sangamon County Illinois Deputy, William Simmons. The murder remained unsolved until 1992 when Edwards confessed while serving a 20-year sentence in Arkansas for burglary.