Police Led to Car Wash Robber by Trail of Quarters

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Not literally, but close enough. Please be aware that if you steal over 5,000 quarters from a car wash, paying for lots of stuff with quarters over the next few days is not a great idea.

U.S. Quarter

The Shiny, Shiny Evidence

Scott Schmitz of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is accused of breaking into the car wash where he formerly worked and stealing 5,619 quarters (worth $1404.75, and weighing 71 pounds) and another $1000 in bills. The owner suspected it was an inside job because the theft was committed just after the cash machines had been restocked. Schmitz’s name in particular came up as someone who was unhappy with the owner and had openly talked about getting back at him.

Having thus set the stage for being apprehended, Schmitz then continued to perform. During the week after the burglary, the unemployed Schmitz reportedly “bought a car, and was seen purchasing items using only quarters.” (I admit I had hoped that he tried to buy the car with quarters, but that sentence suggests he didn’t.) The police also found it suspicious that “Schmitz told a woman the night of the burglary that he did not have enough money to purchase drugs but called her the next day saying he now had cash to buy cocaine.” (That must have been where at least some of the bills went, unless coke dealers take quarters.)  Police also found about 400 quarters and a broken lock—presumably from the car wash, although the report doesn’t say — in Schmitz’s house and car.

I guess most of this is circumstantial evidence, but unless Schmitz has a really good non-criminal explanation for all those quarters, taken together it might be enough to seal the deal.

Link: Fond du Lac Reporter