Similar robberies net burglars only handfuls of coins

Two robberies last week to South Whidbey businesses have left the employees wondering where the suspects will go next with their smattering of coins.

Performance Muffler and Brake in Freeland and Whidbey Coffee in Langley were both robbed sometime on the evening of March 22 or early March 23, according to Jan Smith, spokeswoman for the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Randy Edwards, owner of the Performance Muffler and Brake, had been on vacation while a friend watched the shop for him. Employees said they came into work on March 23 to find the front office in disarray, and a small amount of cash — which would have been used to make change for customers the next day — taken from the cash register. Loose coins were scattered all over the floor, and the thief had opened the soda machine with a key found in the office to nab the machine’s coins as well.

After cutting a portion of the barbed wire fence, the thief apparently jumped the chain link fence and used a screwdriver or pry bar to gain entry to the building.

The business’ antique cash register was also damaged in the robbery, which employees felt had been worth more than the cash that was inside.

Talking about the evening’s other incident of robbery, Wenonah Smith, an employee at Whidbey Coffee in Langley, said she was the first to arrive at work March 23. While approaching the back door, she saw it had been pried open with a screwdriver.

“They used a screwdriver obviously because they left it here,” Smith said. “That was the first thing I noticed. I knew it wasn’t ours.”

She said the burglar took all of her start money for the next business day, and no other items were found to be missing.

Anyone with any information about the incidents are urged to call the Island County Sheriff’s Office at 321-5111 or Langley Police Department at 221-4433.

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