DARLINGTON – Two car washes in the city of Darlington were two of many recently burglarized car washes in the tri-state area. According to Darlington Chief of Police, Jason King, both car washes in Darlington, the Wash ‘n’ Shine and Xtreme Clean, where the perpetrator(s) stole the hopper to the change making machine, which would have contained several quarters and small bills. The Wash ‘n’ Shine was struck around Thanksgiving, on Nov. 25 and the Xtreme Clean was on Dec. 7
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department received a call at 3:02 a.m. on Dec. 11 of a suspicious vehicle at the Dickeyville Car Wash on Pitzen Lane in Dickeyville.
An investigation determined that two young people attempted to burglarize the car wash while a third person sat in the vehicle, described as a red, late 1990s Chevrolet Blazer. The vehicle had several features that made it easily identifiable, including the driver’s door having damage, possibly preventing it from opening as it was secured with orange zip-ties. There was also a round sticker on the back window.
Dickeyville Police Chief Dave Reuter said the suspect vehicle was also involved in car wash incidents in three Iowa cities—Farley, Peosta and Epworth—and may have been a part of other damages and thefts at car washes in Hazel Green, Dodgeville and Mineral Point.
“The Iowa locations had video footage of the same vehicle,” Reuter said. “We believe it could be related to the Wisconsin incidents, too.”
Reuter used still images from the surveillance video to seek assistance from social media users. He received many comments with tips from the Facebook post.
“We got a lot of comments on it,” Reuter said. “Facebook can really help in situations like this.”
On Monday, Dec. 12, Reuter was notified that the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department had a vehicle matching the description pulled over.
The vehicle was occupied by two males and one female who were taken into custody and charged for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
“The vehicle contained burglary tools, but there wasn’t enough to make any charges in this case,” Reuter said.
Darlington Police say while burglaries are rare in Darlington, they do occasionally occur. These incidences highlight the need to stay vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police
“We’d rather someone call something in and it turn out to be nothing versus the other way around,” King noted.
The investigation is ongoing.