A San Jose man has been charged with 20 commercial burglaries, in which he and accomplices often used a saw to break into and cart away entire cash-filled ATMs from businesses.
Charles Edward Hastings has also been charged with committing multiple acts of felony vandalism in connection with the burglaries. These crimes occurred in six different cities across Santa Clara County.
Earlier this month, he is believed to have forced entry into the American Legion Hall in Santa Clara. Hastings and his accomplices cut into an ATM with a cordless saw. They stole $10,800 from the ATM and a donation box containing eyeglasses for veterans.
Hastings, 42, is in custody without bail. He will be arraigned on February 16, 2022, at 1:30 PM in Department 23 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose. If convicted, he faces incarceration.
“Property crimes can be as traumatic and destructive as violent crimes,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “All residents of Santa Clara County – including those who victimize us – should know this: You will never be below our radar.”
Hastings and his accomplices repeatedly broke into closed establishments between October 31, 2021 and February 3, 2022. Hastings has also been charged with burglarizing multiple stores and taking high-end items, such as jewelry, guitars, and bicycles.
Hastings was identified and arrested following an investigation led by San Jose Police Department Detective Thanh Tong. Detective Tong worked closely with SJPD’s Financial Crimes and Burglary Prevention units. Also involved in the investigation was Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety and the following police departments: Campbell, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara. Law enforcement linked Hastings to the crimes via his consistent modus operandi, the use of his vehicle at every burglary, and surveillance footage.
The estimated value of items and money taken by Hastings is $189,654. The estimated cost to repair the damage inflicted by Hastings is $65,200.