Pelbano Rec Center vending machine bandit sought by police

Sur­veil­lance photo of the sus­pect

A man broke open a vend­ing ma­chine in­side the Pel­bano Re­cre­ation Cen­ter early this week, but it wasn’t to sat­is­fy his sweet tooth.

In fact, the thief ig­nored the candy and snacks and went straight for the cash, Phil­adelphia po­lice say. De­tect­ives have re­covered sur­veil­lance video of the crime and are try­ing to identi­fy the cul­prit.

The in­cid­ent oc­curred late on Monday or early Tues­day when the re­cre­ation cen­ter was closed, so the un­known crook is wanted for burg­lary and theft. Pel­bano is at 2138 Solly Ave. in Rhawn­hurst.

The first ar­riv­ing staff mem­bers con­tac­ted po­lice at 7:30 a.m. Tues­day. A video re­covered from se­cur­ity cam­er­as shows the hooded burg­lar pry­ing open a rear door to the prop­erty, ap­proach­ing a vend­ing ma­chine in a hall­way and us­ing a tool to pry it open. After grabbing an un­known amount of cash from the ma­chine, the crook ex­ited via the rear door and ran through the play­ground to­ward Stan­wood Street.

Po­lice de­scribe the sus­pect as white and 20 years old with a me­di­um build, a mus­tache and a goat­ee beard. He wore a hooded jack­et, dark pants and a dark skullcap. To view the video, vis­it the Phil­adelphia Po­lice chan­nel on You­ Call 215-686-TIPS or text to PP­DTIP to re­port in­form­a­tion. ••

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