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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 4, April 2013, Posted On: 3/20/2013

PA Police Seek Industry's Help In Identifying Vending Thief

Emily Jed
TAGS: vending, vending machine, vending machine break-in, vending thief, Pennsylvania rest stop, Lackawanna County rest stop, slim jim, pry bar, Trooper Mark H. Murray, Pennsylvania State Police

SEARCH TERM SCRANTON, PA -- Police here are hoping vending operators will recognize a man captured by surveillance cameras breaking into vending machines at a local rest stop.

The suspect reportedly broke into two machines on Jan. 7 at an Interstate 81 rest area north of Scranton in Lackawanna County, PA, at 3:45 a.m. Video surveillance also indicates that at least one other person was present and acted as a lookout.

Trooper Mark H. Murray of the Pennsylvania State Police criminal investigation unit told Vending Times that the thief was captured on video, using a thin, flat, flexible piece of metal, similar to a "slim jim," and another small device that he stuck into the front of the machines. He also used a pry bar on one machine.

The officer said the speed and efficiency with which the vending vandal entered the machines and stole the money inside suggests he might have worked in the industry. He is hoping that vending professionals who see the surveillance images will recognize the thief as a current or former employee.

Those with tips on the suspect (in this case only) can call Trooper Murray directly at (570) 963-3156.

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