Minor crimes on the rise

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer June 06, 2014 10:41 am

Car prowls, thefts increase as weather warms up

Police are used to the number of car prowls increasing as summer arrives.

This year, though, the La Grande Police Department is investigating a string of thefts like one they haven’t seen in a while. 

In the past two weeks, they have received a number of reports of thefts of coin-operated machines, mostly soda vending machines.

Det. Jason Hays said the thieves are knocking out the lock to get into the machines and steal what money is in them. Six coin-operated machine break-ins have occurred since May 28.

Two local laundromats reported thefts, with one missing the money from its coin-operated soap dispenser. Hays said the thefts are usually occurring at soda vending machines.

“Our (coin-operated) car washes used to get hit,” Hays said.

For the full story, see Friday's edition of The Observer