String Of Vending Machine Vandalisms Hit Midland

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Time may be running out for who-ever has been vandalizing vending machines in Midland.  

Investigators say they've been working the case for a while and they say they may have a break, surveillance video.

Someone has been using a crow bar, prying machines open, and sweeping them clean of all the money inside.

For Super Mercado Assistant Manager Kokes Bernal, seeing another vending machine broken into outside the store doesn't come by surprise.

"All they want to do is take money out of the dispensers. We usually have $500 in there. I've been working here for years and its happened about eight times now, it's nothing new," Bernal said.

Super Mercado isn't the only one dealing with constant break-ins of vending machines.

"In the past couple of weeks, we've had eight reports where they are using crow bars to take money and the items," Sgt. Alfredo Grimaldo with the Midland Police Dept, said.

Store managers say it's difficult to catch them in act mainly because most of the incidents happen at night when no one is around.

"There's nothing you can do. You can put a surveillence camera up but that costs money. I'm just surprised no one caught them," Bernal said.
"Most of these are not secured. They're obviously maybe poorly lit. A lot of businesses don't have surveillence cameras up. Just put the machines closer to the door not on the side of building, that could help the situation," Grimaldo said.

Fortunately one of the businesses that was hit had a surveillence camera on location; that tape is now under investigation with the Midland Police Department.