During an eight-day span last month, thieves targeted two Cortez car washes in apparent attempts to steal quarters, squeaky clean.
According to the Cortez Police Department, an unknown suspect attempted to drill a lock on a coin receptacle at the First Street Car Wash overnight on Saturday, Dec. 12. Damages totaled approximately $700.
Two days later, police again responded to the scene just before midnight. Because an alert neighbor called after hearing the sound of drilling, a suspect was captured.
Apprehended on Dec. 14, a male subject was arrested and charged with criminal attempt, burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools, including bolt cutters, a Dremel tool, grinding disks, drill bits, a flashlight, gloves, a wrench and a screwdriver.
Police said they also discovered a padlock cover removed from a coin machine inside the suspect’s vehicle. Damages from the second burglary attempt were estimated at $800.
Despite the arrest, thieves continued, this time striking the Aqua Car Wash on Dec. 17. Police reported that two bays were broken into and two drawers of quarters totaling $60 were stolen. A lock on one of the bays was drilled open. Total repairs were estimated at more than $10,000.
Then on Dec. 21, thieves returned to the First Street Car Wash, drilling out the dead bolt on an office door. Damages were estimated at $200.