Customer outwits thieves attempting to steal money from car wash
The satisfaction of being a Good Samaritan was not the only reward for 35-year-old Joel Jackson of Roanoke, Va. He earned $1,000 for his quick thinking in helping to catch two criminals trying to steal money from a Unitec Electronics (Elkridge, Md.) coin box at the Salem (Va.) Apple Market Carwash.
The two suspects, a 29-year-old female and 28-year-old male, both of Knoxville, Tenn., had made a day-long activity of visiting car washes around town and breaking into unattended payment boxes. When caught at another car wash, police discovered a collection of homemade tools inside their vehicle along with nearly $900 in coins and cash.
Jackson was vacuuming his car only five feet away and saw the entire incident as it unfolded.
“They were using some kind of pole with tape on the end of it, jamming it into the machine. I stared at them the whole time and got their license plate number,” Jackson said. He went into the Apple Market and reported what he saw to employees who immediately called the police.
Salem police officers asked Jackson to describe the couple and what had happened during their unsuccessful attempt to steal from the coin box.
Seeing them drive off in the direction of another car wash, Jackson was asked to accompany police in order to identify the thieves and found the two suspects attempting another break-in.