Gumball bandit on the loose in Marion County - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Gumball bandit on the loose in Marion County


A gum ball machine bandit has been ripping off candy machines across the Pine Belt, but the target isn't candy; it's the money inside. Now authorities are asking for your help to find the thief.

Surveillance video shows a man in a dark ballcap, dark shirt, glasses, and a gym bag entering the Piggly Wiggly in Columbia. The man has hit machines all across the region over the last few months. Authorities say he usually targets these blue machines because he has a specially made key. He takes the money from several locations in each town and is believed to strike every one to three weeks. These candy machines are usually only serviced every three months or so by the owner.

Columbia Police Detective Captain Mike Cooper says, "Although this is not a major crime, this is putting a big dent in this guys livelihood. He services these machines. That's how he makes his living. This thief is going in and stealing the proceeds from his machines. He's hit his machines from the Gulf Coast, Picayune, Lumberton, Purvis, now Columbia."

In all descriptions the suspect has worn a New Orleans Saints shirt. If you have seen this man please contact investigators at (601)-736-8204.

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