Coin thief wanted by authorities

Published 8:18pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

An unidentified male is traveling from store to store, breaking in and not touching the cash registers but still coming away with money.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is looking for an unidentified subject that has broken into four locations only to bust the glass out of coin amusement machines — machines where quarters are dropped through a slot in hopes of winning more money if they land in a certain spot.

Sgt. Mike Granthum with the department said the man is breaking $300 to $500 worth of glass only to come away with $50 from the machines.

“He has broken into three different stores on four different occasions,” Granthum said who believes the suspect to be a black male but cannot identify him. “There have to be some local merchants that have seen him come in their stores and cash in with lots of quarters.”

He said the department is seeking information about the suspect. They have video surveillance of all four incidents, which occurred at Dave’s Market in Valley Grande on June 12 and June 16, the Valley Grande Kwik Stop on June 14 and then robbed a donation jar for literacy at the Dollar General in Valley Grande.

“He is walking up to the business and busting the glass with a hammer [to break in]” Granthum said. “He has a mask on, runs in, busts the amusement glass out, grabs the coins and then throws it in a pillowcases and runs.”

The department is hoping merchants in Valley Grande and Selma will have seen a black male either making purchases with mostly quarters or cashing them in some way.

Adam Byrd whose Auburn-based company All-Star Amusement owns the game machines in the three locations, said replacing the glass on the machines has been a headache and an ordeal.

“He is reaching in through all of the shards of broken glass in the machines to get the coins,” Byrd said. “So I really don’t think he is coming away with that much change. He needs to be caught.”

The Sheriff’s Department said anyone with information on the recent Valley Grande change thefts can call Crimestoppers at 334-875-3530. No information or observance is insignificant in finding the suspect involved.

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