EL CERRITO, Calif. (KRON) – The owner of an East Bay laundromat is sharing surveillance video of a man wanted in connection with a burglary earlier this month.
The suspect managed to steal about $2,500 in cash from the bill changer machine.
Damage to the machine itself is pushing the total loss to more than 10-thousand dollars.
While One Stop Laundromat on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito was still open late at night two and a half weeks ago, a masked man, who police say stands about five foot six, wearing all black walked through the front entrance and worked for about three and a half minutes to break into the locked office door.
The owner of the laundromat Benjamin Yu told KRON4, “I don’t think laundries are a common target.”
Once in the back, police say the suspect cut open the bill changer machine with a saw and stole at least 25-hundred dollars in cash.
“I use that for our mortgage, right? my kids go to pre-school — that’s for them,” said Yu.
Benjamin Yu owns the business and another laundromat in town, and, says compounding the issue is the current nationwide coin shortage exacerbated by the pandemic.
Yu says it was already difficult finding coins everyday for customers to receive in exchange for dollar bills.
He told KRON4, “you can get, you know, 50-bucks, you can get 20-bucks in coins, and for us as a business that, you know, our lifeblood are quarters. We’re not being able to get that.”
In all, Yu and the police department say the damage caused by the burglary, plus the cash lost exceeds 10-thousand dollars. Investigators are trying to track the man down, and hope someone in the public recognizes him and reaches out.
Yu says, “it’s important for me to have someone line this caught, and you know, no longer on the streets because other businesses, they’re going to face the same thing, if he’s still around.”
And his actions are costly.