Thieves hammer car wash cash machine

Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 5:23 PM CDT
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A Papillion, Nebraska car wash owner says he's tired of being cleaned out by thieves. In 10 years he's been hit about 35 times; the latest a few weeks ago. But this time he has a way to fight back with clear video that will hopefully lead to the identification of suspects.

Ivan Lentsch estimates that in the last 10 years, thieves have stolen about $2,000 from his car wash cash and change machines.

But repair and replacement costs go beyond insurance coverage and he's paid $17,000 out of his own pocket.

"There are utility bills to pay, there's a mortgage to pay. So eventually it's taking money out of the pocket that would feed my family," said Lentsch.

Thieves who hit in early morning darkness are brought to light and hopefully justice by night vision security cameras. Right now, Ivan has eight cameras protecting his car wash, but he's adding eight more. So that's 16 cameras to catch any crook in the act.

"There certainly would be satisfaction in pulling them off the street and getting them in jail," said Lentsch.

Located in a business area, the sledge on brick sound doesn't travel far enough to wake residential neighbors so Ivan is adding an alarm system.

If you recognize them please call Sarpy County crime stoppers at 402-592-STOP.