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MOOSE LAKE - Police need your help finding a man who could be behind a rash of vending machine burglaries.Police say the thief is targeting vending machines because cash and coins are untraceable and easy to get rid of.
Police say the suspect is not looking to steal personal belongings or valuables, he wants loose change.
"The device that takes the money is broken and then the money's gone," Moose Lake Police Department Chief Bryce Bogenholm said.
The captured video is of a prime suspect in a string of vending machine thefts.
So far loose change has been stolen from a car wash in Barnum, a soda machine in Cloquet and a change machine inside Mercy Hospital.
"They're somehow breaking the locks open and going inside the machines and taking the change from inside the machines," said Bogenholm.” "We're not really sure how they're doing that."
The one suspect is described as a white male, 5'10" to 6'0" tall, 160 to 180 pounds and walks with a distinct limp on his left leg.
"He's pretty brazen," said Bogenholm.
The suspect is seen in the video taking cash boxes from Mercy Hospital, filled with nearly $1,000.
"He went to the front and then the back so he kinda cased the place," said Bogenholm.”
Right now it's not known if he's behind all of the burglaries, but police say it's a possibility.
The thefts could be linked to drug use, a result of the declining economy, or June's floods that have left many people low on cash.
"Times are tough," said Bogenholm.” “People are just, I think they're getting real desperate."
Bogenholm is advising business owners with vending machines to keep watch on their property, empty their machines frequently and invest in an extra pair of eyes.
"I really strongly urge businesses to get this video surveillance," said Bogenholm.
Right now investigators are following leads and reviewing the surveillance video.
They say they are confident they will find the suspect.
If you have any information on the suspect you can contact the Moose Lake Police Department at 218-485-8404 or the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department at 218-384-3236.