Court rules an ATM in a bank lobby is part of the bank

A man convicted of breaking into an ATM at a Meetinghouse Hill Bank branch in Dorchester in 2010 tried to have his sentence overturned because prosecutors failed to prove the ATM was a "depository" for which one could be charged with breaking into.

Nice try, the court told Christopher Doyle - who cited a single, unpublished Michigan ruling that defined "depository" - but if it walks like a duck, etc.:

After hearing all of the evidence, a rational jury could have found that the machine, located in the bank vestibule and targeted by the defendant, was an ATM, that the ATM in question was a depository within the meaning of the statute, and that it was a place where something of value was left. Evaluating this evidence in combination with the defendant's possession of a recently used metal grinding tool, damage to the ATM door hinge, and smoke still lingering in the bank vestibule along with the odor of burnt metal, we are satisfied that the Commonwealth met its burden to prove the charge of breaking into a depository.

Doyle did win a small victory - the court overturned his conviction for malicious destruction of property, arguing that while Doyle did indeed destroy bank property in his 3 a.m. zeal to extract the ATM's money, he did not do so with the "state of mind infused with cruelty, hostility or revenge" required to support a guilty verdict of "malicious" destruction.



Free tagging: 


    A lawyer said that with a straight face?

    He should be required to pay back the state for the time of all the employees that were wasted with that nonsense argument. "An ATM is not a depository." Yeah, the ATM does not have an (expletive) "Deposit" button on the screen. The lawyer and the defendant should both just die.

    Does that matter? Should

    By on

    Does that matter?

    Should people be allowed to have a go at withdrawal-only ATMs with drills and saws, with no legal consequences?


    Why, obviously, of course.

    By on

    Why, obviously, of course. ~

    By showing that he "broke... a safe, vault, or depository", the prosecutor just didn't have to show intent to commit a felony. I'm sure they still could have had a perfectly felony good case without that particular provision of the MGL, but lawyers, like most people, are lazy. But in general and where possible, I'm in favor of trying people for the crimes that they actually commit, and not ones that are just sort of like them, so the details do have some meaning.

    I'd say an ATM counts as a

    By on

    I'd say an ATM counts as a safe, vault, *and* depository, even if it doesn't take deposits from customers. The bank deposits money in it -- that's enough to qualify.