Vending machine vandals hit area hotel

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – While you put money into a vending machine, for a crook this is a good place to get money. Instead of buying a snack, they're ripping these machines off hoping to make a quick buck.

Coca Cola vending machines dispense cold soda to quench your thirst. But last Sunday, crooks weren't just looking for a cold beverage. They broke into machines on several floors at the Holiday Inn Koger Center on Midlothian Turnpike -- swiping cash and coins.

"You feel violated," said a vending machine owner. "This is our property. We try to take good care of these things and knowing that someone is sneaking around behind the scenes trying to destroy what we are working to build is disconcerting."

The owner asked us to hide his identity to protect his drivers from getting robbed. Chesterfield Police have arrested two men in connection with the vending machine robberies at Holiday Inn. Vending operators tell us that breaking into one of these machines isn't even worth it. At most they carry about $30 to $40, most of which is in change.

"The money would lie, if they were dollar bills, inside that box right there which is not easy to get out and change would reside in here," said the machine owner.

You can still see the damage on the machines at Holiday Inn. Police tell us the crooks used a screwdriver, crowbar and vice grips to get to the money. While these crimes are on the rise, the machine owner hopes people think if this crime is worth just a few bucks and spare change.

If you break into one of these machines you can face serious charges including stealing or tampering with a coin operated machine and destruction of property. Some places even have cameras so there is a good chance you'll get caught.

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