Two accused in theft of drinks from machine Witness reported incident to police CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

November 20, 1992|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Westminster police captured two Prince George's County men yesterday within minutes after the pair allegedly stole drinks and coins from a soda machine in the 100 block of West Main Street.

Police said the two took the money and several soft drinks when they allegedly broke into the machine in front of Vince's Seafood about 9:30 a.m.

Officers said that they recovered coins, cold soft drinks and a pry bar in the Toyota Tercel auto in which the men attempted to escape.

Charged were Michael Bennie Butts, 23, of Bladensburg, and Paul Shawn Iwatsu, 25, of Capitol Heights.

A witness to the theft called police and gave them a description of the two men, the license number of their car and the direction of their travel.

Moments later, Detective Lt. Dean Brewer saw the vehicle heading east on Main Street and followed it as it turned north on Railroad Avenue to Sherwood Avenue.

With his siren sounding and emergency light rotating, Lieutenant Brewer notified other units in the area, "I am stopping the wanted car on Railroad Avenue at the Texaco gas station."

A backup officer arrived within seconds, and police removed the two men from the car.

The officers reported finding the pry bar and $26 in loose coins on the floor of the vehicle and arrested the two men.

5l The witness to the theft, who was not identified, made a positive identification of the suspects, police said.

Both men were charged with malicious destruction of the soda machine, estimated to be worth about $650, theft and conspiracy.

Mr. Butts was held in lieu of $1,000 bail. Mr. Iwatsu was held in lieu of $2,500 bail.

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