The owner of a Glen Cove landscaping company told police he rammed a shopping mall store with a stolen dump truck and snatched an ATM because his business was struggling, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
"I own a business and times are hard right now. I gotta do what I gotta do," Garrett Landry said when officers arrested him last month, according to prosecutors.
"I can't compete with all this illegal immigration," he added. "They're taking over, and they work for nothing."
Landry, 26, of Glen Cove, was arraigned Friday in a Riverhead courtroom after being indicted on charges of burglary, grand larceny, criminal mischief and possession of stolen property.
He pleaded not guilty and was being held last night on $25,000 cash bail or $75,000 bond.
His attorney, George Dazzo of Patchogue, could not be reached. Landry's sister, reached by phone, declined to comment.
Landry has no prior criminal convictions, records show.
A former standout baseball player at Glen Cove High School, he has owned Garland Contracting, a Glen Cove landscaping and masonry business, since 2011, according to online records.
Prosecutors say Landry and an unidentified accomplice who has not been caught hot-wired a dump truck at a Coram cemetery before dawn on Dec. 30, then used it to smash glass doors at a Macy's store in Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. The pair, using chains, loaded the ATM in the vestibule into the truck and drove off.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement that a "Good Samaritan" cabdriver who witnessed the theft called 911 about 2:30 a.m. and aided police.
The cabbie stayed on the phone with dispatchers as he followed the truck from Route 347 to Nicolls Road to Pond Path, and then to a dead-end side street, Spota said.
Police K-9 units, assisted by a helicopter, arrested Landry without incident near the abandoned truck, authorities said.
With Gary Dymski