Thursday, April 30, 2015


A pair of accused ATM thieves, who allegedly struck the Sudz King laundry on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood as part of a four-month spree of 10 such crimes, were arrested Tuesday, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Levell Burnett, 38, and Mark Smith, 32, both of Newark, were picked up at their homes and are accused in 10 ATM "crash and grab" incidents dating back to October 2014. 

The Sudz King theft occurred on October 10.

See the entire press release below:

Two Arrested in ATM Crash and Grab Spree

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray, along with Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division Richard Frankel, New Jersey State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes and Newark Police Director Eugene Venable announced today that two people have been arrested in connection with 10 ATM crash and grab incidents along the Route 21 corridor.

“Working cooperatively with our law enforcement partners we were able to arrest two men who we believe were responsible for multiple incidents of crashing into businesses, grabbing automatic teller machines and  fleeing with significant sums of cash,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray. “These arrests are significant but the investigation is continuing.’’

Yesterday, following a six-month investigation by a Joint Task Force comprised of the ECPO, New Jersey State Police, the FBI, Newark Police, and Bloomfield Police, Levell Burnett, 38, and Mark Smith, 32, both of Newark were arrested without incident. Burnett was arrested on South 8th Street in Newark. Smith was arrested at his home on Columbia Avenue, also in Newark.

“Two individuals wanted in a series of smash and grab burglaries of ATMs were arrested last night.  These arrests were the result of dogged investigative work by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the State Police, the Newark Police, and the FBI and highlight the importance of working jointly with our law enforcement partners,’’ said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division Richard Frankel.

Burnett is charged in with 10 incidents in Newark, Bloomfield, Maplewood, Jersey City and Kearny. Smith is charged with nine incidents in Newark, Bloomfield, Maplewood, Jersey City and Kearny.

Both are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, theft of an ATM and criminal mischief.

“It has been extremely difficult on local businesses as a result of the damage caused by criminals’ thefts of ATMs.  The task force had a daunting task before them in attempting to catch the actors involved. Through diligence and excellent police work, detectives have captured two suspects wanted in connection to several of these thefts. I thank the team for their persistence in making these arrests,” said Newark Police Director Eugene Venable.

The incidents that led to the arrests occurred from October 2014 though late January 2015. The businesses include Sudz King Laundromat in Maplewood, Buy Rite Liquors in Kearny, Wonder Bagel in Jersey City and Dunkin Donuts in Bloomfield. In Newark, they are accused of burglarizing Park Place News, Any Garment Cleaners, Applebee’s, Checkers Restaurant, Jersey Fried Chicken and Newark Crown Fried Chicken.

In most of the cases the men used a pickup truck to crash into the front of the business and then took the ATM machine. The machines were taken to locations in Newark on Frelinghuysen Avenue and on Route 78.

“These two individuals’ reckless actions caused risk to the public and damaged the businesses and livelihoods of honest citizens," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “I commend our troopers and partnering agencies for a job well done.”

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