Car wash latest target in coin theft trend - FOX 13 News

Car wash latest target in coin theft trend

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's certainly a brazen way to make a buck: two burglars were spotted on surveillance cameras using a blowtorch to break into a car wash coin machine early Monday morning.

The two suspects took off with just $63, but they left behind thousands in damage.

The owners of Tampa's Stor-N-More Storage & Car Wash came in Monday to find $9,000 in damage to a scorched self-serve bay.

"I didn't know what to think. I thought, 'Did somebody actually do this? Is this actually happening?'" general manager Stacey Adkins said.

It's not the first time criminals have preyed on petty cash in the Bay area.

In December, a man was caught on surveillance cameras bashing in a Town N' Country laundromat's coin machine. In July, deputies say a man walked into two Brandon Beef O' Brady's locations, cracked open video game machines, and took off with the change.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says it's a trend that shows the desperation of some to grab fast cash.

"These criminals are going after anything of value," said HCSO's Cristal Bermudez Nunez.

Meanwhile, Adkins' family-owned business is left cleaning up the mess and fronting a big bill.

With surveillance cameras and full lighting at night, they're wondering what more they can do to protect their place.

"It breaks my heart to think it's like this in our community," Adkins said.

Deputies are still looking for the two suspects. They were seen leaving the car wash bay a little before 2 a.m. Monday morning in a silver or gold Nissan Altima.

If you have any information, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

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