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Armored truck driver pleads guilty to stealing money from ATMs

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A former armored truck driver pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this morning to stealing money from automated teller machines (ATMs) in numerous locations in Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls.

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Christopher James Diestler, 31, of Fergus Falls, pleaded guilty to one count of bank larceny. Diestler, who was indicted on July 16, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Chief Judge Michael J. Davis.

In his plea agreement, Diestler admitted that from March 2005 through March 15, 2012, while working as an armored truck driver for a company out of Sauk Rapids, he stole approximately $182,350 from Bremer Bank ATMs in Alexandria, Breckenridge, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, and Morris, Minn., and Wahpeton, N.D., as well as a Wells Fargo ATM in Alexandria and a U.S. Bank ATM in Fergus Falls.

ATM currency is dispersed from cassettes that are installed into ATM machines. Diestler admitted taking cash from a number of those cassettes. Then, upon returning to an ATM to retrieve a cassette from which he had stolen money, he replaced the missing funds with currency taken from another ATM. By doing this, any audit performed on the cassettes would fail to reveal the prior thefts.

For his crime, Diestler faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Judge Davis will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office, the Fergus Falls Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu.

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