Texas man caught after bank theft

Posted Jan. 13, 2009, at 9:35 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Texas man who recently moved to the area apparently made fictitious deposits into a TD Banknorth ATM, and after a couple of days withdrew more than $10,000 in real money, according to local police.

The deposit envelopes were empty and a computer glitch allowed the man to walk away with several thousand dollars, which he quickly spent, Sgt. Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department said Tuesday.

Richard Walston, 24, who recently moved to Brewer from Stephenville, Texas, was arrested Monday and charged with felony Class B theft, which means he took in excess of $10,000. The exact amount taken was not released.

“We’re dealing with a lot of money,” Edwards said.

Walston made several fictitious deposits over several days, including four within minutes on Friday, Jan. 9, Edwards said in a press release issued Tuesday.

“Saturday, he went there [to the bank] to inquire about the account, and what was available,” the sergeant said. “Several thousand had cleared and was available for him to have so he took it.”

The suspect then went on a spending spree, buying jewelry, a big-screen TV, lottery tickets, swords and other items, Edwards said. “He gave a lot of the stuff away,” including cash gifts to friends.

Bank personnel at the Exchange Street branch of TD Banknorth in Bangor discovered the computer glitch on Monday and called police about the fraud and theft at around 12:30 p.m., Edwards said.

Unaware of the bank’s discovery, Walston returned to the Exchange Street branch at 1:41 p.m. Monday apparently to make another withdrawal, according to police. He was arrested inside the bank while two of his friends waited outside in a taxi, Edwards said.

The two friends, Brewer residents Kyle Cunningham, 19, and William Gustin, 20, who both list the same address as Walston, subsequently were arrested on unrelated charges.

Cunningham was in possession of a knife, a switchblade, brass knuckles, and a 4½-foot sword strapped to his back that was visible from underneath the long coat he was wearing. He was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, trafficking in dangerous knives and violation of bail conditions on undisclosed charges.

Gustin was found with a dangerous knife and two small bags of marijuana in his pocket and was charged with trafficking in dangerous knives and possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

All three suspects were taken to Penobscot County Jail after their arrests Monday. Gustin was released on bail later that day. Cunningham and Walston each made a first appearance in 3rd District Court on Tuesday and Cunningham was released. Bail for Walston was set at $2,000 cash or $20,000 surety, and he remained in jail Tuesday evening, a jail official said.

If convicted of the Class B theft, Walston could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

“We have recovered very little of the property and about $1,200 in cash,” Edwards said.

Bangor Police Department investigators are still trying to recover the remaining cash or property purchased with the stolen funds, and are asking anyone with information to contact the department at 947-7384.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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