Extra! Extra! Thieves Nab Newspaper Boxes
Posted February 20, 2007 8:24 a.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2007 6:24 p.m. EST
Most of the machines have been taken in the areas near U.S. Highway 301 and Forest Hills Road, police said.
"It's probably our No. 1 crime right now," said Detective Eric Kearney of the Wilson Police Department.
Police said money is the likely motive for the crimes. Someone is stealing the $800 machines to get the coins inside, they said.
"With the amount of stands we've had taken, if you add up -- if you do a safe estimate on some of the stands -- (it starts) adding up," Kearney said.
The thieves are targeting machines that aren't anchored down and that contain USA Today, The Wilson Daily Times and The News & Observer newspapers, police said.
Shirley Griffin, who makes her living filling Wilson Daily Times machines, said the thefts are frustrating.
"I think they should pay for a paper rather than steal them," Griffin said.
Gannett Co., which owns USA Today, has offered a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest. Wilson CrimeStoppers plans to add $1,000 to that reward.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323 or Wilson CrimeStoppers at 252-243-2255.