The Ocala area has been experiencing a rise in break-ins to coin-operated type vending machines since the beginning of 2013.
Since the January 1, 2013, the Ocala Police Department has been experiencing numerous (10 plus) break-ins of soda vending machines and coin machines. All the cases involve a businesses with either the machine(s) just inside the door area or under an awning or breeze way. It appears that the culprit(s) are either prying the locking mechanisms/service door open or utilizing a blunt tool to break the dollar bill exchange area off to access the bill containers. In each of the cases, several hundreds of dollars damage is done to the machines and money is taken.
The Ocala Police Department is asking for business owners and citizens to keep watch for any unusual activity surrounding vending type machines. These crimes are normally happening after business hours; overnight when the businesses are closed.
We do have the attached surveillance photos from one incident, but have not yet identified the suspect. Anyone with information on these crimes and/or any information on the identity of the suspect(s), is asked to call the Ocala Police Department at 352-369-7000 or, to remain anonymous, report the information to Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP(7867) or www.ocalacrimestoppers.com