Thieves target hospital vending machines

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BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Police are looking for two people who they say stole from a vending machine inside a central Kentucky hospital.

On Tuesday, Berea Police released surveillance video of the suspects in the act. Police tell us they stole $75 worth of coins from one machine near the cafeteria of St. Joseph Berea Hospital on Thursday.

A sickness, check-up, and visiting someone you know are reasons to go to the hospital. But Berea Police discovered a new one at St. Joseph Berea Hospital thanks to surveillance cameras.

"As far as we can tell, that's the only reason they had to visit the hospital that day was to commit this theft," said Sgt. Jake Reed, with Berea Police.

Police say the two worked as a team, taking advantage of a vending machine left unlocked around the corner from the hospital's cafeteria.

"The female comes in first and it looks like she actually comes in and makes a purchase from one of the machines. And then she goes back out and immediately comes back in with the male subject," said Sgt. Reed. "She stands by as he gets into one of the machines and attempts to get into the other machines, and she kind of acts as his lookout."

The surveillance video shows a hospital employee walking by mid-crime. But police tell us the two are still successful at getting away with $75, from one of the machines.

"They did ask one of the hospital employees where these vending machines were, and they were able to point them out to them," said Sgt. Reed.

Police call it a daring, odd crime and reason to visit a hospital.

"It's unusual that somebody would go in a public place like that and spend as much time as they did trying to get into the machines," said Sgt. Reed. "It's not something that we see very often."

Police need your help in identifying both of the suspects.

Police say the theft was discovered by a hospital employee who noticed the vending machine door was ajar.

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