CHINATOWN — Two brothers were arrested for trying to crack open a Chinatown ATM — and police are investigating whether they are also responsible for a string of other ATM thefts in the area, authorities said.
Jose Torres, 35, and Francisco Torres, 42, were busted with a crowbar and pliers in hand trying to break open an ATM at 45 Mott St. about 4 a.m. Jan. 17, according to police and the Manhattan District Attorney's criminal complaint.
The brothers were both charged with grand larceny, criminal mischief and attempted grand larceny, the DA's office said. Jose Torres was also charged with possession of a burglary tool.
In addition, Jose Torres was charged with another ATM break-in at 182 Hester St. on Dec. 6 at 4 a.m., in which he allegedly stole $6,000 with two other men who have not yet been caught, according to the criminal complaint.
Information about attorneys for the Torres brothers was not immediately available.
Police are investigating whether Jose and Francisco Torres are part of a larger group responsible for numerous ATM break-ins recently in the 5th and 7th Precincts, covering Chinatown and the Lower East Side, according to Capt. Fernando Burgos from the 5th Precinct.
In one instance, the group failed to crack open an ATM so instead attempted to drag it with a car until it became dislodged near the Manhattan Bridge, Burgos said.
"We have identified the crew," Burgos said this week. "Now it's just a matter of locking them up."