Man nabbed for suspected heists

Courtesy photo Kenneth Dexter, 33, of 1085 Court St., Brockton, Mass., and 13 Williams Ave., Pembroke, Mass.

NASHUA – Police officers arrested one of two suspects in a two-year spree of break-ins of automated coin kiosks and ATMs in Nashua and in Massachusetts.

Kenneth Dexter, 33, who is identified as Kenneth R. Dexter III in some court documents, was arraigned Wednesday in Nashua district court on three felony charges, then held on $250 cash-only bail at Valley Street jail.

Dexter, who lists addresses of 1085 Court St. in Brockton, Massachusetts, and 13 Williams Ave. in Pembroke, Massachusetts, is alleged to have spray-painted over security cameras and used drills and cutting torches to get to the cash boxes inside the machines, which in some cases contained more than $1,000.

He is due back in court at 8:15 a.m. Dec. 4 for a probable cause hearing.

Although the charges are felonies, Dexter was arraigned in Nashua district court rather than Hillsborough County Superior Court-South because the alleged offenses occurred before Sept. 1 – when the so-called felonies first format took effect. It wasn’t immediately known whether Dexter posted the $250 bail necessary for his release.

The charges Dexter is facing include two felony counts of criminal mischief and one felony count of theft.

Nashua police wrote in their lengthy reports and probable cause affidavits that they first became aware of the alleged spree on Sept. 1, 2016, when Michael Campagna, the owner of Camp’s Car Wash on Charron Avenue, called to report that someone had damaged an automated payment kiosk at the car wash.

He also told police roughly $1,000 was missing from the machine, while referring to the paint on the security camera.

A week after that incident, a manager at Glacier Car Wash on Amherst Street called police after discovering damage to an automatic payment kiosk similar to the one at the Charron Avenue car wash.

Police said the damage was “consistent with a cutting torch and drills being used,” and the manager estimated the machine sustained between $20,000 and $25,000 worth of damage.

As police launched an investigation into the two similar crimes, Campagna, the owner of the Charron Avenue car wash, called police on Sept. 30 after hearing about the incident.

Reports indicated two men, a father and son, had been arrested in Marshfield, Massachusetts, by police who responded to a local business after receiving a 911 call reporting a “skinny, white male” had attempted to break into the business then fled on foot.

Police took Dexter into custody, and two days later, arrested his father, Kenneth Dexter II, who, police said, served as a lookout and getaway driver for his son.

Prompted by Campagna’s tip, Nashua police contacted Marshfield authorities, and a joint investigation began.

Detectives from both jurisdictions sought, and were granted, warrants to search both men’s cellphones. Nashua police also reviewed in extensive detail the video surveillance footage they retrieved from the two Nashua car washes.

That evidence, along with a similarly detailed examination of the men’s cellphone and GPS records that tied them to the area of the car washes, prompted police to issue a warrant for Dexter III’s arrest.

Learning that he was arrested on Nov. 14 and was being held at the Grafton jail, Nashua police said they made arrangements for Wednesday’s arraignment in the Nashua court.

Police said they hadn’t had any contact with Dexter II since late September or early October, when they attempted to make arrangements for him to turn himself in, according to their reports.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, or at dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.