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2 Minnesota men convicted in theft ring targeting pharmacies, ATMs

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Two men have been convicted in connection with a theft ring that targeted pharmacies and ATMs in Minnesota and Iowa over the past two years, the Star Tribune reported.

Derek E. Benedict, 42, of Hugo, and Lyle R. Carpenter, 41, of Hastings, were accused of stealing cash from ATMs and narcotics from pharmacies. The men were convicted Friday in federal court in St. Paul.

The paper said the thefts happened from October 2009 through February 2013. Most of the crimes happened in the Twin Cities area, officials said.

Benedict and Carpenter were convicted on 10 federal counts, including conspiracy, bank burglary, bank larceny, credit union burglary, interstate transportation of stolen property, and burglary of controlled substances.

Six others connected with the thefts – five from Minnesota and one from Wisconsin – have already pleaded guilty in the case.

According to WCCO, the defendants broke into the businesses at night and disabled their alarm systems. After that, they took cash from the safes in the businesses and/or the ATMs located within the facilities, the station said.

All eight defendants are awaiting sentencing, the Star Tribune said.

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