Thief makes himself at home during crime spree at Marion County laundromat

Surveillance image of suspect (Courtesy: Salem Laundromat) 

MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A brazen thief broke into a locked office of a Marion County laundromat and stole about $1,000 in cash, all while making himself comfortable by changing clothing, eating employees’ food and even washing off a hatchet he brought in with him.

The bizarre behavior was caught on surveillance camera early Monday morning at Salem Laundromat.

Manager Kayla Reed said the suspect came in through the unlocked front door. The business opens the shop early to allow customers to wash clothing before employees arrive.

“We’re a small business,” Reed said. “We’ve been a family business for this long and we’ve never had any problems.”

The surveillance video shows the suspect breaking into the business office and riffling through drawers. He later pulls out a box of cash and empties it, along with another box filled with change.

One stolen box of money contained the profits from the sale of cold bottled water. Reed said the money is saved all year long and then given to laundromat employees as a Christmas bonus.

“It was really frustrating to see him take that,” Reed said.

Reed said the man also took off with keys, clothing, tools, laundry soap, cans and water bottles, among other items.

The suspect spent about an hour and a half inside the facility, where he also took time to wipe down his boots, change clothing, steal from a vending machine, and unload a cache of items he brought in with him.

The video shows him wiping off a pocket knife and then washing a hatchet in a nearby sink. He later took an orange from an employee fridge and ate it while watching FOX 12 Oregon on a TV mounted on a wall. 

“He was very professional about everything he did,” Reed said. “He was clean, he cleaned up after himself, he was very casual, he didn’t mind what he was doing.”

While losing the money hurts, Reed said losing the sense of security is worse.

“I’m more so mad,” Reed said. “I’m just angry and I feel bad for our employees because I know that it (makes) them uneasy.”

Now the business hopes the public can help deputies catch the suspect.

“We saw what he did,” Reed said. “We got him on camera, we know who he is, and it’s not OK to be doing this to people.”

Marion County deputies are investigating the case.

Reed believes the suspect is a repeat offender who is known to law enforcement.

Anyone with information should call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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