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Clean getaway

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

Coins spill on the floor as the thief breaks into the change machine at the Mildura Coin Laundry on New Year’s Eve. The business owner claims a Broken Hill man is responsible. PICTURE: Facebook Coins spill on the floor as the thief breaks into the change machine at the Mildura Coin Laundry on New Year’s Eve. The business owner claims a Broken Hill man is responsible. PICTURE: Facebook

By Andrew Robertson

A Mildura business owner claims his laundromat has been robbed twice in six months - by the same Broken Hill man - and there is little he can do to stop it happening again.

Bill Shadwick said yesterday that hundreds of dollars in coins were stolen, and equipment wrecked, during the brazen thefts from his Mildura Coin Laundry business.

He said the first robbery happened in June when a man entered the laundromat and took money from a number of washing machines and driers before breaking into a change machine, damaging it in the process.

A Broken Hill man was charged with the theft, and at least one other in Mildura, and was jailed for four months, according to Mr Shadwick.

But on New Year’s Eve the business was hit again. This time the thief went straight for the change machine which had not long been replaced by Mr Shadwick.

The robber tried to use a skeleton key to open the machine but Mr Shadwick said when that failed he took to it with a large screwdriver that he retrieved from his ute that was parked out the front.

“When the skeleton key didn’t work he levered it off.

“He was gone is less than five minutes.”

Both thefts were caught on security camera and although the thief is careful not to show his face, Mr Shadwick says it was clearly the same man.

“It was so obvious it was the same bloke because of the MO (modus operandi).”

Mr Shadwick said the thefts, the first in his 20 years of owning laundromats, were “very annoying”.

But he said there was little he could do to prevent them from happening apart from “sit here with a shotgun”.

“There’s nothing you can do, if they want to break-in, they’ll break in.”

Mildura police were contacted for comment.

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