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'The man knew what he was doing': Thief hits St. Helens laundromat in broad daylight

The business owner said that the thief made off with thousands of dollars in broad daylight after taking power tools to the box.

ST. HELENS, Ore. — Police in St. Helens are looking for a thief who was seen on security camera footage brazenly stealing from a local laundromat by breaking into the location's coin machine in broad daylight.

According to police, officers responded just after 9:30 p.m. on Monday to the Royal Quick Clean for a "cold theft report." Based on security footage from the business, an unidentified man broke into the coin box and stole an unknown sum.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, a black baseball cap and sunglasses. He was driving a white Pontiac sedan with no front license plate.

Credit: St. Helens Police Department
The car driven by a thief who stole from Royal Quick Clean laundromat in St. Helens on Monday evening. Police say that it's a Pontiac.

Diana Johnstun, the owner of Royal Quick Clean, told KGW that the man came in sometime early Monday evening and used power tools to take apart the machine, which takes bills and dispenses change. He walked in and out of the location three times as he casually went to work stealing the contents.

"The man knew what he was doing," Johnstun said. "He had the tools, he had the speed, he had the efficiency ... I have no doubt that other small business owners have experienced the same occurrence."

Johnstun said that the thief made off with thousands of dollars. She's hoping that the security footage will help track him down.

A Facebook post from Cacao Kingdom, a chocolate shop at Three Rivers Mall in Kelso, Wash., has videos of a man of very similar appearance attempting to break into a vending machine on Saturday before being thwarted and walking away. The shop said that he was driving a white early-2000s Pontiac with Oregon plates.

Sad to say we had an attempted theft at our vending machine this morning. This person used a lock pick device designed...

Posted by Cacao Kingdom on Saturday, July 9, 2022

Anyone with information about this case or the possible identity of the suspect should call the St. Helens Police Department at 503-397-1521.

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