YUBA CITY (CBS13) - Apartment complexes in Yuba City have reported serial thefts – of washers and dryers.
The coin-operated washers and clothes dryers have been disappearing at a rate of roughly two each week since Jan. 2 of this year. And now Yuba City police are seeking the public’s help in finding the thieves.
“They’re not just taking the coin boxes, they’re taking the whole washer or dryer,” police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey told the Appeal-Democrat on Wednesday. “Where they’re getting rid of them is something we’d like to know.”
On Feb. 4, one apartment resident scared off two attempted thieves as they tried to steal a washing machine in the 700 block of Clark Avenue. According to police, the two adult Caucasian men made their getaway in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Yuba City police said that each theft has occurred during evening and early morning hours, and only one has been recovered so far – a machine that tumbled off their getaway vehicle and onto Frederick Street. Thus far, ten machines have been reported stolen with the latest occurring on Feb. 10.
Police are not sure why the thieves are targeting laundry machines.
“We’re investigating the strong possibility that the same individuals are involved in all of them,” Pavey told the Appeal-Democrat. “It’s pretty brazen to load up a whole machine and leave.”
Police are advising all apartment residents in Yuba City to take necessary precautions to prevent future thefts. There have currently been no reports of missing clothing from any of the robberies.
“Leaving your apartment complex laundry room unsecured is not good idea,” Pavey said.
Apartment manager Vidi Sanchez’s complex is still missing washers after being hit three times. During the most recent attempted theft, an alert tenant scared the suspects off.
“They were using a dolly. He left the dolly behind when he left,” said Sanchez.
Police aren’t sure if the crooks are trying to sell the stolen machines or if they’re just after the quarters.
“We just find it amazing. Out of all 10 of these, we’ve had, so far, only one tenant has heard something,” said Pavey.
While promising to keep her eyes peeled for anybody stealing a washer or dryer, Tamara has a simple request for the thieves once they’re caught.
“I’d like them to pay for my laundry for like two months,” she said.
A few of these apartment complexes have installed cameras and new locks; but the key probably lies in neighbors noticing a crime in progress, which seems like it’d be pretty hard to miss.