Published January 28, 2008
CLEVELAND – A couple admitted to stealing millions of dollars from an armored car company to escape financial hardships and find a better life, according to documents read in federal court Monday.
FBI special agent Guy Hunneyman read the statements, made by Roger Dillon and Nicole Boyd, during a bond hearing in U.S. District Court.
Dillon, 23, and Boyd, 25, both of Youngstown, are charged with bank larceny and other charges in the November heist from AT Systems in Liberty, just north of Youngstown. They face up to 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. They have no prior criminal records.
The amount stolen was just under $8.4 million, including $6.7 million in cash and the rest in checks. Federal authorities until Monday had reported the theft at a total of $7.4 million, including $4.3 million in cash.
The couple's motive was to escape financial problem, including a debt of thousands of dollars, Boyd said in her statement.
"I knew taking the money from AT Systems was wrong, but I wanted a better life," Hunneyman read from Boyd's written statement, which she signed Dec. 1.
All but $3,500 was recovered, Hunneyman said. The cash and checks were found stacked in a mobile home where the couple fled about 250 miles away in Pipestem, W.Va.
Dillon, who had worked as a driver at AT Systems for about nine months, also admitted stealing a bag containing $50,000 from Chase Bank in Akron in August, according to his statement. He used that money to rent the mobile home, buy supplies and a truck in preparation for the robbery at AT Systems.
"I decided to steal money from AT Systems' vault," he wrote. "I set about learning codes and watching and listening."
Magistrate Judge Kenneth McHargh said he would rule on bond for Boyd and Dillon's mother, Sharon Lee Gregory, after their attorneys notify him of where they would live. Dillon did not challenge his detention. All three have bee held without bond since their Dec. 1 arrests.
Gregory, Dillon and Boyd are all charged with conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines, and transporting and aiding and abetting in that transportation from Ohio to West Virginia.
Dillon and Boyd, who sat next to each other during the hearing wearing shackles and orange jail uniforms, were quietly reprimanded by a U.S. Marshal at one point for talking.
According to their statements, they made several trips to West Virginia in the weeks before the robbery to rent the trailer, buy heating oil for it and stock it with supplies, books and video games.
"I told my mom about a week beforehand ... and told her she should come with us," Dillon wrote. Gregory, who admitted in her statement to having a crack addiction, tried to talk him out of it, he added.
On the night of Nov. 26, when the armored car company had cash from the busy post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, Dillon entered the building using another employee's security code, his statement said. He pulled a truck into a garage and loaded it with bags.
Boyd sat inside the truck and helped pull the bags inside. They made one stop on the way to West Virginia — at a McDonald's where they disposed of their cell phones.
They spent the next few days counting stacks of money. Gregory wrote in her statement that she recorded totals in a notebook.
They had no plan on what to do next.
"We discussed a storage facility or burying the money," Boyd wrote. "I also considered running to Mexico and obtaining false identification."
Hunneyman testified that the couple had been living together since early 2003 and shared an interest in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
Boyd bounced from job to job. She was fired from a teller job, acknowledging to the FBI that she contemplated stealing money, Hunneyman said. She was discharged from the Army after a few weeks because of psychological issues, worked as a stripper at two bars and spent time living in a tent.
She filed for bankruptcy with her ex-husband in 2006 over $67,000 owed to banks and credit card companies. Boyd and Dillon owned a house for a period, but lost it in foreclosure.
"Despite our attempts to have a normal life, things just never worked," Boyd wrote.