LENOIR COUNTY - A surveillance camera recorded thieves prying open coin machines at a local car wash-- and they brought a toddler with them.
The surveillance video shows two men stealing money out of the coin machines at Thomas' Car Wash, located at 6020 Highway 11 just north of Pink Hill in Lenoir County. It happened at about 10:45 p.m. Sunday, said Chief Joey Thigpen of the Pink Hill Police Department.
As the men got out of their car to look around , a young child can be seen in the video running out of the suspects' vehicle. The toddler jumped around before a woman came out of the car and brought the child back in.
The woman later exited the vehicle and changed the child's diaper on the trunk lid of the car, while the two men worked to break open the coin machines at the self-serve car wash, the surveillance video shows.
The men can be seen in the video using a bar and a saw to pry open the electronic coin boxes, before driving away with the woman and child. Police said the suspects broke into four coin machines in all and caused about $5,000 worth of damage.
The amount of money they stole was unknown.
The suspects' car is described as a mid-2000 Mercury Milan. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pink Hill Police Department at 252-568-4102.
The owner of the car wash is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects.
"Biggest cost is to replace the parts," said Caroline Whitfield, whose family owns the car wash. "We live in a frustrating time. People work hard, others take advantage"
Police said there have been other car washes with the same type of damage in Beulaville and Kenansville within the past week.