Up to 4 years for Pittsfield man who helped steal ATMs

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PITTSFIELD — A man who helped to steal four ATMs last year has been sentenced to up to four years in prison.

Nicholas Y. Beauchamp, 29, of Pittsfield, admitted participating in a series of break-ins and thefts between August and September to help pay off debts to drug dealers. He pleaded guilty to a total of 13 counts on Thursday during a plea hearing in Berkshire Superior Court.

Beauchamp and another man were arrested on Sept. 28, 2017, on unrelated drug distribution and conspiracy charges after officers responded to a call about suspicious activity on John Street.

Police detained the pair, and an officer placed Beauchamp in custody after he was found carrying a folding knife and a crack pipe during a frisk, according to court records.

Christopher J. Vandesteene, the other man, was carrying what appeared to be a drug ledger. Nearby, police found a bundle of 10 bags of heroin stamped with the words "Day off."

During an interview with police, Beauchamp admitted to working with Vandesteene in the break-ins and thefts.

Beauchamp admitted to participating in ATM thefts from O'Brien's Market in Lenox on Aug. 4; the American Legion post in Pittsfield on Aug. 20; the Becket General Store on Sept. 3; and Angelina's Sub Shop in Pittsfield on Sept. 15.

He told police the pair took the ATMs to October Mountain State Forest, where they broke them open and removed the cash, according to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Caitlin Shugrue. The machines contained as much as $2,200 in one case and as little as $60 in another.

A furniture dolly was used to help remove the ATM from the Legion post.

Beauchamp also admitted to breaking into O'Laughlin's Pub in Pittsfield on Sept. 11 and stealing about $100.

In all, Beauchamp pleaded guilty to five counts each of nighttime breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony and larceny from a building, and one count each of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Judge John Agostini adopted the sentencing recommendation of 2 1/2 to 4 years in state prison that was agreed to by Shugrue and Beauchamp's attorney, Joshua Hochberg.

Beauchamp will serve his sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction; he was given credit for 263 days of time already served in custody.

The case against Vandesteene remains open.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.

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