Thief targeting laundry machines

A thief snatching change from laundry common areas in motels and residential buildings is causing a pain for local property management companies.

“It costs us a new machine every time one gets broken, and new machines are anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000,” said Debbie Desgage, Re/Max Front Street Realty owner/managing broker/strata/property manager. “The fear is, now that they have gotten into the building and got the coin, for the people that live in the building and their safety.”

Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said RCMP have responded to 24 attempted or completed thefts of change from apartment and motel laundry rooms since Nov. 6. RCMP said the thefts are reportedly occurring overnight between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Dellebuur said the majority of these incidents occurred in complexes in the city’s northwest neighbourhoods and at least two buildings have been targeted more than once.

“The thief appears to be using some type of a tool to enter the buildings as well as to pry open the laundry machine coin compartments. We have some video of this person from one place out of the 24 that have been hit,” said Dellebuur.

RCMP described the suspect as a Caucasian male, around five-foot-10, slender build, wearing a black ski-type jacket with grey piping on the arms and collar, black hoodie, white ball cap, blue jeans and black shoes. The suspect was carrying a backpack and wearing gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.


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