Associated Press

O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) – An early-morning thief in southwestern Illinois took an 80,000-pound track hoe from a road construction project to break open a coin machine at a car wash.

The burglary Sunday netted about $50 in coins, yet caused thousands of dollars in damage to the building in O’Fallon, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

Easy Street Car Wash owner Bill Spiller said he doesn’t have an exact cost of the damage, adding: “I will tell you, it’s going to cost us a lot more than they would have ever got from the facility.”

The equipment was stolen from David Baxmeyer, president of the Waterloo-based Baxmeyer Construction. He said the machine was locked and that the person responsible for moving it had to have had a key in order to operate the machine. Baxmeyer said it likely took at least 20 minutes to get the machine from the job site to the car wash.

“It’s mind-boggling how it got there,” Baxmeyer said. “Whoever did it had to know what they were doing.”

Spiller said Baxmeyer told him the suspect could’ve torn down the whole building.

“We are very blessed that they were not intelligent enough to do this right, and we are very blessed that there was a guy walking that stopped him,” Spiller said.

Police Capt. Jim Cavins said investigators are gathering video footage from local residents and businesses. Cavins said he didn’t know the route the driver took to get from the work site to the car wash. He said he was unaware of any road damage.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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