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Thief Shows More Than Face

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Surveillance Camera

Paul Partyka |

ENON, Ohio — Getting caught with one’s pants down may be somewhat embarrassing, but it hasn’t stopped a man from plaguing a self-service laundry here, a local TV station reports.
A man recently used a crowbar to pry open locks on a laundry’s machines, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office reports. He also used a key to steal from the washers and dryers.
During the act, the man’s face was clearly captured on the surveillance camera. That wasn’t the only thing captured on film — at one point, the suspect’s pants fell down.
The owner doesn’t recognize the suspect, and says he’s not missing any of his store keys, one of the detectives told the TV station.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect also robbed the same store in December and on New Year’s Day.
Others haven’t been so fortunate when it comes to skirting the law. In Appleton, Wis., a man believed involved in the theft of copper piping from a former Laundromat was arrested while police were investigating, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent.
The building owner called police to report some copper piping had been cut out of the building and taken. Officers were investigating when the suspect appeared at the scene and was identified by a witness, police say.
No one was able to explain why the guy returned. He is being held on a felony charge of burglary.
The latter incident more closely resembles some recent bungled criminal endeavors at self-service laundries. In 2009, a man was arrested after police found him hiding under a 6-foot pile of blankets following a botched theft at a New Jersey laundry.
Police say the man hid in the store until after closing to search for money. After finding $5 worth of quarters, the would-be thief realized he couldn’t get out, so he cut through a wall dividing the store from a next-door jewelry store, setting off that store’s burglar alarm. The suspect then retreated to the laundry, police say, in hopes of hiding and walking out when the laundry reopened.
Officers say the man confessed to hiding in the storage room behind the washing machines.
A similar bungled theft also recently occurred in Maine. Security cameras recorded a theft at a Laundromat, but the suspect made the police’s job a bit easier by returning for his laundry, which he had left in the store’s dryer.
The store owner, who lives behind the business, said that a customer had called him to the front of the store because a woman had left her purse on a chair. The owner opened the purse to find out to whom it belonged and then called the owner.
The purse owner had not realized the purse was missing, and wanted the owner to check it because she had $118 in cash in it. The money was gone.
The police were called, and video footage was checked. Police say the footage showed a man removing the wallet from the purse, stuffing the wallet into his pants and leaving the store. An outside camera allegedly showed the man going through the wallet before going back in, putting the wallet back in the purse and leaving.
Despite repeatedly proclaiming his innocence, the footage told the story, the owner says. The man was charged with theft of a wallet and arrested for violating bail conditions.
 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.

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