3rd man arrested in alleged South Side ATM break-in try

A third person has been arrested in connection with using a cutting torch in an attempt to break into the ATM at the Wyrope Federal Credit Union at 1536 Riverside Drive, South Williamsport, on Dec. 4, borough police said.

Meade Hamilton Lewis, 20, of Port Matilda, faces three felony conspiracy counts for his alleged involvement in the plotting of the crime.

Already arrested in the case were Jordan Christopher Smith and Neiko Alexander Pratt.

Police allege Smith and Pratt tried to break into the bank’s ATM with a torch. The two were scared off when heat from the torch activated an alarm, alerting police. Although no money was taken, the $40,000 machine was a total loss, police said.

Four days later, Pratt and Smith were nabbed near Lewisburg as they allegedly attempted to break into another ATM with a cutting torch, this one at the West Milton State Bank.

Along with Pratt and Smith, police allege Lewis was “directly involved in the logistical planning” of the crime.

The three used the Internet to study websites regarding the actual building content of ATMs as well as the machine’s security features, police alleged in court papers.

“Equipment for putting together a cutting torch was ordered on the Internet using a pre-paid Visa card allegedly provided by Lewis,” police said.

“Lewis was to get a percentage of the proceeds taken from the ATMs,” police said.

Charged with conspiracy to theft, conspiracy to arson and conspiracy to criminal mischief, Lewis was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman and released on $50,000 bail. Smith and Pratt already have waived their preliminary hearings and are free on bail.