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Salt Lake police look for vending machine robber

SALT LAKE CITY — Detectives are asking for the public's help in finding a man caught on video with his hand in the cookie jar — or in this case, the vending machine.

Since January, someone has been breaking into vending machines throughout Salt Lake County. At least five such incidents in Salt Lake City can be attributed to the the man, said police Sgt. Robin Snyder. The same person is believed to be responsible for additional vending machine robberies in the Unified Police Department's jurisdiction.

The owners of the Coca-Cola vending machine at the Red Lion Hotel, 161 W. 600 South, say their machine has been hit four times in July, and they say they have suffered occasional losses dating back to January, Snyder said.

In an effort to find the robber, the company installed a small camera inside the machine to record all activity. Two weeks ago, a man broke into the machine and took the money inside.

The man appeared to have experience accessing the vending machine, Snyder said. The video shows a bald man with a goatee, possibly in his 40s, about 5-foot-10 and having a gap between his front two teeth.

Anyone with information on the vending machine robber can call police at 801-799-3000.

— Pat Reavy