Unified Police Department Seeks Statewide Vending Machine Burglary Suspects

Sept. 22, 2015

The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake is searching for a suspect in a string of vending machine thefts that began around Aug. 11, 2015.

A Unified Police Department reported that a detective working a vending machine burglary case discovered that there are dozens of these cases throughout Utah and surrounding states in the last two months. The detective made contact with the owners of the vending machines and discovered that there is a serial burglar/thief targeting these machines in grocery stores.

National Entertainment Network owns Twin Crane games, Video games and Children’s rides throughout the country. These games and machines are placed in the entry/exit area of both large and small grocery and department stores.  Since August 11th, 2015, they have had over 40 stores in Utah and surrounding border towns report that the games have been vandalized and the money stolen from the internal safe in the machines.  The cost of damage and revenue loss to NEN is over $33,000 at this point, not accounting for the revenue lost during the time the machine is down for repair.

Through investigation, UPD and National Entertainment Network have discovered that all of these crimes are most likely linked and probably have been perpetrated by the same individual or individuals.  There are many surveillance photos that show the suspect described above breaking into the various machines. He is the primary suspect for most of these events.  

The police describe the suspect as a white male, 30s, short reddish/brown hair, goatee, full sleeve tattoos on both arms, tattoo of “baby feet” on left side of neck, wears glasses and a hat in most surveillance photos.  Driving a four-door full-size ¾ ton truck with running boards and a matching bed cover.  In a couple of the theft cases, witnesses have said there were up to two more people waiting in the getaway vehicle.