Blow Torch Bandit Sought

By | January 25, 2009

Blow Torch Bandit Sought

[Van Buren, Arkansas] Police are searching for a suspect who used a blowtorch to break into a change machine at a Van Buren car wash.

On Monday, an employee of Hog Wash car wash, 706 Fayetteville Road, called police to report the theft from the change machine on the east side of the car wash, according to a police report. Car wash owner Gerald Vaughan told police the change machine is valued at $3,000 and there was about $300 in coins and bills in it.

The damage to the wooden column where the change machine was located was estimated at $500. Authorities got video surveillance of the crime from Advantage Security — a business across the street from the car wash. It showed footage of a dark colored, extended-cab pickup parked beside the change machine.

The video shows the suspect backing into the slot next to the coin changer. The person then exited the pickup and got something out of the back of the vehicle. The person lit a torch and started cutting on the coin changer, according to the report.

Another car pulled into the car wash during the theft, and the suspect stopped cutting and got into the pickup.

When the other customer left the car wash, the suspect got out of the vehicle again and finished the job.

via Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

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