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Vending machine burglaries trending in Brown County, Early police need help finding a suspect

By Betty Nguyen, bnguyen@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 30 2014 07:54:42 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 12:20:42 PM CST
EARLY, Texas -

The Early Police Department is asking for your help to find a man who is suspected of recently burglarizing a vending machine in broad daylight.

The incident happened Sunday, Jan. 26th at a hotel on the 200 block of Early Blvd.

Early Police released a surveillance video of the man who walked away with $80 after he allegedly burglarized a vending machine.

"We've put the video out for the public to see it," said Early Chief of Police David Mercer. "Hopefully they can try and identify the guy in the video."

Chief Mercer said burglary of a machine is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. 

Brownwood Police said they have recently seen a rise in this type of crime. There have been 5 incidents in Brownwood since Jan. 10th of this year. An inn, a car wash, two apartment complexes and Brownwood Regional Medical Center have been victims. 

"It's really hard to gauge the motivation besides the immediate need for money," said Brownwood Assistant Chief of Police James Fuller. "Often times they view it as a quick opportunity but in reality, they're causing a whole lot of damage and the reward is very small. The price that they pay if we catch them is even more dire than just the little bit of money that they would receive."

Asst. Chief Fuller said there are ways to stop the crime from happening.

"Our encouragement to the community and of course the businesses that have these machines is to always be mindful of their location and periodically check them. It's important to make sure that you have security lights, or just have the machines in a well-lit area and an area that is traveled by many people."

Chief Mercer said Abilene, Hamlin and Clyde police are also looking for the same suspect. He also said they have a lead, but they always welcome tips. If you have any information, you are asked to call Early Police at (325) 646-5322 or Crimestoppers at (325) 676-8477.