An armored security company worker from Somerton tried to rip off $68,000 cash from an ATM in Bensalem on Friday, but an alert township cop caught him holding the bag.
As a result, Dennis McLernan, 50, of the 13000 block of Lindsay St., is facing numerous criminal charges including burglary, theft and resisting arrest.
The attempted heist occurred at a cash machine outside Trumark Financial at 1000 Northbrook Drive, near Old Lincoln Highway, at about 1 a.m. Bensalem police went to the scene when an alarm activated. The officers saw that someone had pried the machine open and stolen its contents.
As police assessed the damage, one of the officers recalled that while on his way to the crime scene, he saw a suspicious man in dark clothing walking along Old Lincoln Highway near Horizon Boulevard. The man had a hood pulled over his face and was carrying a dark duffel bag.
The officer drove back to the spot where he first saw the suspicious man and attempted to stop the man for questioning. The suspect ran and tried to climb over a fence, but fell. He dropped his bag, got up and continued to run, but the officer stopped him with a taser discharge. The suspect was later identified as McLernan.
A bank employee was called to the crime scene and provided police with surveillance video of the theft. It appeared to show McLernan using a crowbar and hammer to tamper with the ATM before removing money trays and placing them in his bag.
Police recovered a car in the parking lot of an auto repair shop at Old Lincoln Highway and Street Road that they believe McLernan intended to use as a getaway vehicle. According to police, McLernan admitted that he committed the theft and that he knew the ATM had been restocked with cash that day because he works for the company that maintains the machine. He said he had keys to open the machine, but he vandalized it in an attempt to mislead investigators.
McLernan is held at Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of $75,000 bail. ••