MONESSEN, Pa. (KDKA) — Police say two people are facing charges after damaging parking meters and stealing the coins in Mon River towns.
When the Monessen Police began investigating, they couldn’t believe how many parking meters were hit.
Since before Thanksgiving, more than 60 parking meters were damaged. Six meters were also found without meter heads.
“Some business owners were reporting that the whole block was gone,” said Lt. Dave Yuhasz of the Monessen Police said on Wednesday.
Police have now charged 30-year-old Randy Kimmel Jr. and 27-year-old Samantha Walters with causing $13,000 in damages.
Police say one worked on drilling out the locks and swiping the coins while the other acted as a lookout, surveillance video shows.
And Monessen is just one of the communities hit. Police in neighboring Charleroi and nearby Monongahela are also investigating similar parking meters thefts.
In mid-December, officers say they talked to Kimmel and Walters while they were walking in town.
Police say Walters was wearing boots similar to the pair the woman was wearing in surveillance video.
And shortly before Christmas, officers encountered Kimmel again and confiscated five flat-head screwdrivers, vice grips and almost $40 in change.
When Kimmel was asked about the quarters, he told police he took them from his piggy bank.
“No one walks around with that much change in their pocket,” Yuhasz said.
Investigators also found suspected drug paraphernalia and more screwdrivers, tools and metal internal locks.
Police say the locks match those inside Monessen’s parking meters.