Thousands in damage resulted from rash of car wash machine burglaries
Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2006
By KERI CHAMPION
LAPLACE-The individual responsible for a rash of recent car wash burglaries in the LaPlace area is in custody after police made the arrest on Tuesday.
“Coin operated machinery at two Quick Stop car wash locations have been broken into a number of times in the last nine months,” said Mike Tregre, spokesperson for St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The two locations, Dominican Drive and Fairway Drive use coin operated machines to run the car wash equipment.
“During the investigation Investigator Kirk Tregre processed a scene for latent fingerprints and discovered a print that belonged to Todd Tassin, 36, of LaPlace” said Tregre.
A warrant was issued for Tassin’ s arrest and he was spotted in a vehicle and taken into custody without incident when a traffic stop was conducted.
Tregre reports that during questioning Tassin admitted to breaking into the machines. Tassin was arrested for 12 counts of criminal damage to a coin-operated device and one count of burglary of an immovable structure.
Harold Bubby Haydel operates the two car washes and he said that Tassin also broke into an equipment room and pulled the changer from the wall.
“Police estimates of the damage caused by the burglaries is $10,000 in property and that Tassin would recover between $20 to $30 in quarters with each burglary,” Tregre said.
Haydel says he estimates the loss at more when including equipment repair, loss of revenue and wages.
“If we had to repair the coin machines we lost money each time because we couldn’t operate the business,” Haydel said.
Tassin is a four-time convicted felon whose motive behind the car wash burglaries is the support of a drug habit, Tregre said. Tassin is currently on probation for burglary.
Bond for Tassin was set at $91,000 for damage to the machines and $20,000 for one count of burglary.