April 2, 2020

USU nets suspect in CEU burglary

Every candy machine on College of Eastern Utah’s campus was emptied over Christmas break when campus police were notified that a burglar was hitting Utah college campuses and taking money from vending machine boxes.
Officer James Prettyman contacted the owner of campus candy machines and told her to take all the candy and money boxes out of the machines until the students came back spring semester. Owners of the Coca Cola and Pepsi machines opted to keep the soft drinks in the machines and collect the money on a daily basis.

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Every candy machine on College of Eastern Utah’s campus was emptied over Christmas break when campus police were notified that a burglar was hitting Utah college campuses and taking money from vending machine boxes.
Officer James Prettyman contacted the owner of campus candy machines and told her to take all the candy and money boxes out of the machines until the students came back spring semester. Owners of the Coca Cola and Pepsi machines opted to keep the soft drinks in the machines and collect the money on a daily basis.
No one at that time put the possibility of the vending machines being broken into with the November ATM burglary and theft from the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center.
According to The Utah Statesman, their campus police arrested Clarence Lancaster Jan. 3 on charges of burglaries committed on their campus. Lancaster, a Las Vegas, Nev., resident appeared in court and plead guilty to 20 burglaries on the Logan campus. He will be sentenced March 5 and face one charge of third degree felony for theft and five charges of third degree felonies for burglary.
USU Police captain, Steve Milne, said Lancaster, 52, could also be charged for burglaries committed at Weber State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Snow College and Southern Utah University. Those campuses had their vending machines broke into and all money taken.
With information being exchanged by the Utah colleges, it looks like Lancaster could be a suspect in the CEU ATM burglary and theft. That incident netted the suspect $20,460.
Prettyman plans to travel to Logan to interview the suspect this week. He says the footprints from the Logan burglaries match the footprints at the CEU site, a yellow crowbar was found in Logan, and other pieces of evidence match much of the CEU case. Police suspect a yellow crowbar was used at both the Snow College and CEU ATM sites.
After Prettyman concludes his investigation, he plans to take the information gathered to the county attorney’s office to prosecute the suspect if he believes he committed the campus crime.
A similar ATM incident took place at Snow College fall semester, where an ATM machine was broken into, netting $6,000 to the burglar. According to Bob Wright, Snow College Police, another $1,500 was taken from vending machines at Snow. He believes the suspect was on campus Nov. 9. “He could have been on campus one or two days.”
“The hard part about our case is we only had one witness possibly see the suspect on campus. We have partial prints that are poor quality.
“The damage to Snow College is minimal. It’s the venders who took the majority of the loss,” Wright explained.
Officer Prettyman said that a crinkled-up note was found in Lancaster’s possession that he was planning on traveling to CEU’s San Juan campus but was arrested before he made the trip.
The Utah Statesman reported that, “he [Lancaster] would take these road trips where he’d go up to Utah and stop at universities where he’d break in and steal.”
Money stolen and costs for damage to vending machines at USU totaled $27,000. The Statesman reported he has already spent the money he took from USU.

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