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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Thieves hit parking meters again

July 4, 2001

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The parking meter bandit has struck again, doubling his stops but maybe not his loot.

Late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, coins were emptied from 200 parking meters in the downtown area, Lawrence Police said Tuesday.

"Pretty much every area was hit except for Massachusetts Street and the parking lot meters," said Sgt. Doug Bell, parking control supervisor.

The most recent in a series of heists was June 24, when 81 meters were robbed. Ever since, Bell said, city officials have been emptying meters more frequently to minimize losses. That could be the suspect's motivation for hitting more meters.

"He's going for quantity now more than quality," Bell said.

Police have not yet determined how much money was stolen this time. Bell said they also do not know if there is one culprit or several, "but with this many meters, it appears he has some kind of help."

The suspect likely has a key to the meters.

"He's obviously got something to enter it quickly," Bell said. "A key is probably what he's got, but whether it's homemade or professional, I don't know."

Police have no suspects and are calling on residents, store owners and anyone out late at night to keep an eye open and report suspicious sightings to the Lawrence Police Department, 841-7210.

"We're going to keep trying to apprehend him," Bell said. "Unless he stops on his own or we catch him, it's probably going to continue."

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