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Oak Creek police seek suspects in pull-tab machine thefts

Dec. 18, 2012

Oak Creek - Police are seeking two men who stole pull tabs from machines, then cashed them in for money at local gas stations last week.

According to the Oak Creek police log:

Two men began playing the pull-tab machine at Mobil Gas, 9510 S. 27th St., about 4:45 p.m. Dec. 8. They continued to play the machine for about two hours, according to the station manager, and cashed in their winning pull tabs for $725.

The theft went unnoticed until the next day, when a gas station employee told the manager he thought it was strange when he found the machine was completely out of pull tabs and no money had been deposited into the machine.

According to the manager, the men apparently used some kind of device or fraudulent bill to obtain the pull tabs without payment being deposited into the machine. The men apparently emptied the machine of 929 pull-tabs, valued at $1 each, adding up to a total loss of $1,654 to Mobil Gas.

The men are described as two heavy-set men with goatees and Southern accents. One appeared to be in his mid-40s and was wearing a black Carhart sweatshirt, jeans and a white baseball cap, and the other was wearing a red T-shirt, dark-colored shorts and a baseball cap. The men were last seen in an older model, four-door maroon vehicle, possibly a Cadillac, with no front license plate.

On Dec. 11, police received a report of two men stealing pull-tabs at Shell Gas, 2170 W. Ryan Road. The station manager told police that two men came into the store about 7:15 p.m. Dec. 9, played the pull tab machine and cashed in $19 worth of winning tickets. The theft was discovered two days later when employees found no money had been deposited into the machine and 102 tickets were missing, adding up to total loss of $121 to Shell.

The suspect and vehicle descriptions were the same in both incidents. The Greenfield Police Department also reported a similar incident with suspects fitting the same description.

An investigation is ongoing.

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