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Gate City police seeking public's help in identifying burglary suspects

Wes Bunch • Apr 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

GATE CITY — The Gate City Police Department is turning to the public for help in identifying at least two suspects they believe are behind a series of vending machine burglaries that have occurred recently in the area.

The most recent incident happened at about 11:30 p.m. on April 13 at the Wilderness Road Market-Patriot Gas located on U.S. Route 23 in Gate City.

According to police, two men could be seen on store surveillance footage breaking into a pair of vending machines and making off with approximately $40 in dollars and change.

The suspects also allegedly caused about $800 in damage to both machines at the store, police said.

One of the men seen in the footage was wearing what authorities believe was a camouflaged toboggan on his head.

The suspect also appeared to have brown facial hair in the style of a goatee.

The second suspect seen in the video had what authorities said was reddish-colored hair with a scar, or part, in the middle.

Police described the scar, or part, on the second suspect’s head as a “distinct” identifying mark.

Both men were seen getting into what appeared to be a dark-colored Ford Taurus, police said.

Police believe a third suspect could be involved since the men were seen getting into the driver’s side and rear passenger side door of the vehicle.

The burglary at the Gate City convenience store was the latest in a series of break-ins involving soft drink and snack vending machines in Scott County, police said. Other vending machine burglaries were reported at the Food City in Weber City and at a laundromat in Weber City.

Gate City police said they believe the suspects being sought are responsible for the break-ins in Gate City and Weber City.

Police said the burglaries also match the profile of similar incidents involving vending machines that have taken place recently in Lee County and in Hawkins County in Tennessee.

Anyone with information on the alleged suspects’ identity or the vending machine break-ins is asked to contact Scott County Central Dispatch at (276) 386-9111 and ask to have the Gate City Police Department paged.

Tips can also be mailed to police at mtaylor@gatecitypolice.com.

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