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Tasers used in car wash robberies

PLEASANT VIEW Utah (ABC 4 News) - Robbers used tasers to break into coin dispensers at several car washes.
PLEASANT VIEW Utah (ABC 4 News) – Tasering bandits may have caused thousands of dollars in damages at several car washes along the Wasatch Front.

"Criminals are smart they really are," says Jerry Priest who owns the Tesoro convenience store in Pleasant View.

And their criminal ingenuity ko’d his automatic car wash along highway 89.

Vandals took coins after breaking into the car washes' coin dispenser.

“The circuit board is fried you cannot use it, that's why it's out of order," Priest says.

Priest says the vandals used a taser much to send an electric current into the coin dispenser and short circuit the system.

"Which then dispenses all the coins, all the quarters that are in the machine will come out on the tray," he says.

It's the second time Priest's car wash was tasered. Tab’s Chevron in Roy was also zapped by a taser.

“They were dressed in black and there was two of them,” says Trina Woolsley who works at the store. “They were just going in and out of the car wash.”

Those who repair these car washes say thieves are using tasers at car washes all along the Wasatch Front.

“This is new,” says Mike Chapman who operates in Weber County. “Of course we've had people break into things which is common. But this is something we've never seen."

Saturday police arrested two men, Eric Loya and Robert McAndrews after they were caught breaking into the Roy car wash.

"This is the first time anybody's been apprehended,” says Priest. “It's a wonderful feeling, a wonderful feeling."

That feeling quickly disappeared after Priest learned what it will cost to fix his car wash.

He says thieves so far stole less than a hundred dollars. But it's costing him thousands in repairs.

“Obviously it devastates us,” Priest says. “A small business like this we don't make any profit anyway. It just kills us.”

Chapman says there have been taser burglaries at car washes in Santaquin, Orem, Salt Lake City, Heber City and Layton. Detectives could not be reached in those departments Tuesday for comment.

But Loya and McAndrews were charged with three felony counts for criminal mischief and three misdemeanors counts of theft.

Prosecutors in Weber County claim they broke into three car washes in Pleasant View, Roy and South Ogden.
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