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Forum staff reports, Published August 29 2013

Fergus Falls man pleads guilty to stealing from ATMs

MINNEAPOLIS – A former armored truck driver from Fergus Falls has pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing more than $180,000 from ATMs in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Christopher James Diestler, 31, admitted stealing an estimated $182,305 from March 2005 through March 15, 2012, while working as an armored truck driver for a company based in Sauk Rapids.

The money was stolen from Bremer Bank ATMs in Alexandria, Breckenridge, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, and Morris in Minnesota, and Wahpeton, N.D.; and from a Wells Fargo ATM in Alexandria and a U.S. Bank ATM in Fergus Falls

ATMs dispense cash from cassettes that are installed within the machines. Diestler admitted taking cash from the cassettes and later replacing the missing funds with cash taken from another ATM. This method prevented audits performed on the cassettes from revealing the theft.

Diestler faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Sentencing has not been set.