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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 12/5/2011

Former Coke Technician Pleads Guilty To Bill Validator Thefts

Emily Jed
vending, vending machine, vending machine theft, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., James Thomas Coleman, vending machine bill validator theft

ANNAPOLIS, MD -- A former Coca-Cola Bottling Co. employee has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 700 bill validators from vending machines in the Baltimore-Washington metro area.

James Thomas Coleman, 36, formerly of Alexandria, VA, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and a year of unsupervised probation. He currently lives in Illinois.

Prosecutors say Coleman removed 767 validators from vending machines owned by Coca Cola Bottling Co. and sold them on eBay between March 2008 and January 2010. He was in charge of machine repairs for the Hanover, MD-based bottler at the time. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. estimates the stolen equipment was worth at least $76,000.

An anonymous caller alerted police to Coleman's scheme. Prosecutors said Coleman never denied involvement and cooperated with the investigation.

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