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franklin county times

RPD after soda machine bandits

By Staff
Kim West, Franklin County Times
The Russellville Foodland had two drink machines vandalized recently after the store had closed. The perpetrators removed the changers from two of the Coca-Cola machines that are located next to the store entrance.
"To me, it looks as if they used a sledgehammer or crowbar to remove the changers," said store manager Michael Lindley. "They stole the money and the changers, but it wasn't much because I had pulled the money from the machines that morning."
Lindley said that he reported $100 stolen to the police, but it won't cost the store because of insurance and the vendor will replace the machines.
"Coca-Cola will replace the machines," Lindley said. "I don't know who did it, but the police went and got the tape from the bank because they have a tape from that night and the bank's ATM camera faces the front of our store.
"I've been at the store for about a year and a half and we haven't had anything happen like this since I've been here," Lindley said.
The tape identifies the vehicle driven during the robbery, but it doesn't reveal any identities, according to Russellville Police Capt. David Hester.
"I believe there were some similar incidents in Colbert County where someone punched the lock out and stole money from vending machines," Hester said. "I think it's possible that the incident at Foodland could be connected to those."
Hester said that robbing a vending machine is criminal mischief because it's willful damage done to property. An adult can also be charged with theft of property in the 2nd ($500 or less) or 3rd degree (more than $500).