EAGLE, Colorado - A man accused of robbing automatic teller machines made his first court appearance Tuesday.
Eric Callaghan faces up to 66 years in prison on seven felony charges. He is accused of breaking into 25 ATMs in Eagle and Summit counties, and 22 more in Grand Junction.
He's being charged in connection with 36 separate cases, said Lt. Greg Daly with the Avon Police Department.
Callaghan was arrested after what District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said was outstanding police work by officers in Avon, Vail, and the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
Callaghan allegedly used a grinder to break into an ATM in Avon during his last burglary, Daly said. He allegedly committed the burglary Nov. 19, between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Callaghan had purchased the tool earlier in the day at Wal-Mart, Hurlbert said. He allegedly used it to break into the ATM, then threw it in the trash behind the building.
"Our crime scene technician was investigating a burglary in Avon and did an excellent job," Daly said. "She checked the downstairs and found some physical evidence."
With that physical evidence they were able to track the tool back to Callaghan, Daly said.
Wal-Mart helped track down Callaghan through the store's accounting and security surveillance systems, Daly said.
Callaghan left Wal-Mart in a taxi, and the taxi company helped investigators come up with a phone number. That helped them pinpoint Callaghan, Daly said.
"With the help of Vail and the Eagle County Sheriff's office we were able to conclude this year and a half investigation," Daly said.
Callaghan remains in the Eagle County jail on $100,000 bond. His public defender said Tuesday that she'll ask for that bond to be reduced when he next appears in court, 1 p.m. Jan. 10.
His alleged burglary spree cost more than $100,000 in lost cash and damages, Daly said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.