Criminals cashing in on arcade machines

PUBLISHED: 05:48 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:48 24 May 2010

THIEVES are targeting arcade machines in the Cheddar area by forcing them open and stealing the change inside. Pubs in Cheddar and Axbridge have been the worst hit but even holiday park Broadway House has been targeted. The thieves are forcing the machine

THIEVES are targeting arcade machines in the Cheddar area by forcing them open and stealing the change inside.Pubs in Cheddar and Axbridge have been the worst hit but even holiday park Broadway House has been targeted.The thieves are forcing the machines open, often during the day, collecting the change and then running out. Nobody has been able to identify who the thieves are or catch them in the act.Sgt Peter Jemson, of Cheddar police, said: "We have had quite a few burglaries at licensed premises, pubs for example, involving attacks on gaming machines."It has basically been in pubs but other premises such as Broadway House, which has amusement arcades, have also suffered."It's just change being taken but quite a lot of money has been stolen now. The Crown Inn in Axbridge has been hit twice. We are carrying out an investigation. "One of the issues is the easy access to these premises."It would be nice if owners of the machines could empty them every night but one of the problems appears to be that they are operated by another company."The companies tend to empty the machines weekly, making the machines an easy target. It is difficult to say whether the thieves are coming from inside or outside of the area."We have a crime scene investigation team currently studying the evidence.

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