CLA Connect Open Forum

Topic: Theft Cought on Camera

1.  Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-27-2016 12:44
Edited by April Smith Miller 01-28-2016 08:45

Theft Caught on Camera

So this last Xmas season I bought an additional 8 camera security system and installed cameras where I could see folks putting in coins and also to monitor whatever that goes on.   Yesterday I was at the mat with my wife and a 4 year old, cleaning and collecting and also trying to figure out how the new DVR works. I noticed that a long time customer was sticking something in the coin slot, I got suspicious and went and opened the coin box which my wife has just collected 5 mins before was empty and the machine was running.   We confronted her as she was with her 11 year old daughter and told her she was Cought on camera and was going to be reported to police.  She got nervous enough that she left her clothes and drove off.

Appereantly lots of customers knew that she was doing this but did not want to be the one reporting.

at this point may I please have your suggestions as to

what steps I should take to nip this in the butt!

thanks,

zz

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ZEE NADIR
Store Owner/ Employee
GRANADA HILLS CA
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2.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-27-2016 14:35

Zee,

I'm guessing that she was stringing the coin drop since you didn't say exactly how she started the washer without inserting coins.

Not knowing what model coin drops you have on your washers, it's hard to offer much advice to prevent this.  Consider replacing your coin drops with a type that is more resistant to stringing.

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Larry Adamski
Store Owner/ Employee
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI



3.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 21:03

Hi Larry,

The front loader is Speed Queen SC50 with a coin drop; and the lady was using perhaps a bra wire.  Are there coin mechs out there which might be better the the stock coin drop? I think I have Munzipur 

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ZEE NADIR
Store Owner/ Employee
GRANADA HILLS CA



4.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-27-2016 17:36

No need to be a jerk and correct his spelling. Either help him out with his question or dont respond. 

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Chad Hage
Store Owner/ Employee
sunland



5.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 12:43

Hi Zee, This exact situation happened to me also. A LONG TIME customer, who would come in with tons of clothes and fill up all the machines would be extremely friendly to me when I would see him and his wife and toddler. He would always come talk to me and tell me how he is a regular and this and that. Long story short, finally one of my real loyal customers came and told me what they were doing, but wanted to remain anonymous(There is an unwritten rule about snitching). The previous owners had no clue this was happening and for how long. Anyway, I caught them on camera also, then confronted them the next time I seen them. They ended up having to actually pay at that visit. Believe it or not, they were using a bra wire, sticking it into the coin drop and clicking away for free washes. Yup the same bra wires that get caught in the drain valves. Same thing happened AGAIN with a different group of people. This happens a lot more than owners know and realize. They come when my attendants are not there. I caught them on camera, took images of them in the act, and made a flyer that I posted inside(looked like a wanted poster), stating that they were reported to the police along with the video footage and that they would be arrested ON SIGHT. They came back again and tried to do the same thing, until they realized their picture was on the walls. They have not been back since and I believe these signs are an effective deterrent to others who may try the same.

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GREG
Store Owner/ Employee
HACIENDA HEIGHTS CA



6.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 12:45

And also, my washers are dexters and I called dexter to see if there was any way to prevent the tampering in the coin drop, which there was not... so only other option were the signs as deterrents.

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GREG
Store Owner/ Employee
HACIENDA HEIGHTS CA



7.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 15:37

Greg,

I have converted some Dexter drops from QO to DCO. I never was impressed with those Dexter drops. It's too easy to get an object ( like a bra stay) from the coin slot to the coin switch. That's one of the reasons I stopped buying Dexter equipment.

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Larry Adamski
Store Owner/ Employee
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI



8.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 16:08

All new Dexter washers are optical coin drop instead of the old switch style that can be manually triggered.  The bra wire tripping of machines can't happen any longer.  Depending on age and how concerned you are about loss it is possible to switch to the newest style drops.  This is not just a Dexter issue.  It is possible on all drops with manually triggered switches.

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KURT ARCHER
Store Owner
CLOVIS CA



9.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 16:40

Kurt,

The bra wire trick would not be as easy to do in a Munzprufer drop because the coin track has an off-set built into it. This off-set helps prevent direct access to the coin switch or senser.

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Larry Adamski
Store Owner/ Employee
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI



10.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-29-2016 21:07

Kurt,

I must disagree with you.

The Optical Sensor can be just as easily tripped, (if not easier) as the mechanical switches can.

A that needs to happen is a breaking, or blocking, of the light in the IR part of the sensor.

I do it all the time from the top as a way of testing the washers and dryers.

I have had a number of clients who have had problems with the bra-wire trick.

The anti stringing bar help a lot. Do Not Remove It!

In a few cases I have added a single edge razor blade to the teeter-totter portion of the anti-stringing mech. A small additional screw and nut is added to the opposite side of the balance mech. Just enough weight to bring the balance back into specs. The weight of the coin needs to push down the inside edge of the mech as it travels by. It takes a little figuring the first time, but once you get it right it's easy to do the rest.

An added benifit it that as they try to remove the bra wire the blade digs into the wire and jams the mech.

Yes, it puts the machine out of service, but it's a pretty quick learning curve that it doesn't work on your place, and it stops eventually.

There are certain Mechs that are more susceptible to the bra wire than others, but they pretty much ALL can be cheated.

The one exception is in the programming of the older "Red Start Button" Speed Queen/Huebsch?Alliance built Dryers.

On those when the speed of the coin (or wire, key, finger, etc) is wrong the computer goes into ERR and stays that way for 2 minutes.

It's very difficult to cheat those ones. Not impossible, just very difficult.

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DAVID CHAMLEE
Service Technician since 1986
and sometimes Laundromat Owner
CCR
Santa Barbara, CA



11.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-29-2016 23:44
Edited by Michael Walsh 01-30-2016 11:32

David Chamlee makes good points.  I along with many old timers in the coin op car wash industry know first hand how coin acceptors evolved from mechanical with cherry switches to not much better optical & then to a variety of "by far the best" metal content of the "coin learn ability" "magnetic signature" style.  There are a number of "lack of better leadership" happenings in the coin laundry industry that has made this happen including from those who think that dependencies on outside processors is the total solution for all laundromats!

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Michael Walsh http://kingkoin.com/USA_Deficit_Reduction.html
Store Owner/ Employee
King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
Bismarck ND



12.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 17:00

Whats DCO?

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GREG
Store Owner/ Employee
HACIENDA HEIGHTS CA



13.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 17:10
Edited by Larry Adamski 01-28-2016 19:38

Greg,

I converted ALL of my coin drops from QO quarter only to DCO dollar coin only. That's why I'm fairly familiar with these drops. My laundromat has been DCO for 7 years now. Every day, my drops reject quarters that they used to accept and accept dollar coins that they couldn't possibly accept originally.

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Larry Adamski
Store Owner/ Employee
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI



14.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 18:34

Got it thanks

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GREG
Store Owner/ Employee
HACIENDA HEIGHTS CA



15.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 21:14

Greg,

I'm considering a photo post! Similar to yours and I just ordered "smile you are on the camera" signs 6 of them.   I was thinking to also install a small monitor of video feed of the survalince system.  

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ZEE NADIR
Store Owner/ Employee
GRANADA HILLS CA



16.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 02-01-2016 01:06

Don't install a monitor with the video feed.  They will figure out what areas are still vulnerable.  It's best if they have no way of knowing how wide or narrow your camera angles are, nor the quality of the video.

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Brian DeCoster
Store Owner/ Employee
Laundromania
Iowa City IA



17.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 02-01-2016 09:29

I couldn't disagree with Brian any more. I have acquired 4 stores that were all in very bad shape when we bought them. Lots of garbage around causing problems. Weve remodeled all of them into very nice stores. Attendants and customers in the stores are the best deterrents, however another one of my best deterrents has been installing a monitor that shows my video feed. The catch is don't show them all the feeds. Just show a small sampling of the camera feeds, ex. 4 cameras. This lets them know it's real and you are watching. Then put a small sign next to the monitor that says : " Smile! You're being recorded by our 16 Camera HD Video Surveillance System". With dome cameras, they don't know which way the cameras are facing. Even the dumbest criminals get the idea, and find somewhere else to go.... This has been very effective for me in running off the bad guys. 

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Dave Menz
Multi-Store Owner
Queen City Coin Laundry Chain
Cincinnati OH



18.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 10 days ago
Dave....Definitely agree with you. The monitor can be intimidating, and you don't have to show all the cameras. The monitor does show that you have a working system, and they will never know if there are hidden cams.

I took a trick from the old department stores and added a couple of dummy cams on top of my 16 cam system.
All the nooks and crannies in the store are covered.

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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19.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-31-2016 20:22

thanks for your tips guys....didn't know about the coin drop technique. Does any of you guys know if this could happen to my maytag washer machines?

Dave

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David Chan
Potential Investor
Freeport NY



20.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 17:41

The crazy part of the story is that the customer did this while you were in the store collecting...

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CHS Laundry
Non-Industry
Columbia SC



21.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-28-2016 21:31

Yes crazy indeed... And I was just figuring out how to play recorded files on the new DVR and noticed something funky.

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ZEE NADIR
Store Owner/ Employee
GRANADA HILLS CA



22.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-30-2016 06:58
Edited by Larry Adamski 01-30-2016 07:01

Greg,

I noticed the husband was keeping you distracted with all his chatter while his wife played with the bra stay.  They obviously have been doing this fraudulent scheme for a long, long time.

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Larry Adamski
Store Owner/ Employee
Muskegon Laundromat
Spring Lake MI



23.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-29-2016 12:59

Hi Zee,

It looks as though you did nip it in the bud!  You caught the person who was stealing from you.  It may be a waste of your time to file a police report - it looks like you solved your problem.  Congrats to you!

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Donna Coghlan Pasquale
King Of Prussia Laundromat




24.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-29-2016 17:16

After reading these posts, I am thinking about taking a bra wire and trying to start my washers just to see if it works with my equipment. I have two Dexter Mega Washers with just a quarter coin drop and several Speed Queen 4 loaders and some triples. Is there a chance I could damage my machines trying this? My laundromat is always attended, and we really do keep a close eye on everything. With that said, anything is possible. Thanks for sharing your experiences with this forum. I must admit  my initial thought was "This couldn't happen to me", but know it could. 

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Gayle Broome
Store Owner/ Employee
Hood Street Laundromat
Alvin TX



25.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-30-2016 08:48

All,

Thank you for the tips on using bra wires to trigger coin mechs. I was unaware. I do not believe anyone is doing that at my stores, but I assuming and do not really know. I'll be keeping a watchful eye and possibly review some surveillance footage from time to time.

Zee, one recommendation. Although I have brought my sons into the stores over the years, as a rule, I never bring them in if I'm collecting. I feel strongly about that and they know not to ask to come with me if I'm going to be handling money. May I suggest that you do the same. Like most, I change up my days and times of collection, but I always try to be cautious and would never want to jeopardize my children's safety. Best of luck to you.

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Steve Lamiell
Store Owner/ Employee
Lake Cable & North Canton Laundromats
Canton OH



26.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 01-31-2016 23:57

Thanks Steve, I completely agree!

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ZEE NADIR
Store Owner/ Employee
GRANADA HILLS CA



27.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 02-01-2016 08:33

Is there a way to cheat on the ESD Coin slides for top loaders?

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Bryce Dispensa
Store Owner/ Employee
Algonquin



28.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 12 days ago
It's important to have surveillance nowadays. I always prefer to have a discreet one like a dome camera which captures 360 angle.

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sean miller
Non-Industry
san diego CA
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29.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 12 days ago
Do those that have converted to the Imonex, or other after market coin drops, know if the Mfg's. have placed specific safeguards against this type of stringing or registering coins via a bra wire etc.


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Les Monthei
Potential Investor
Redding CA
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30.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 10 days ago
I have Imonex drops in a lot of my machines. I can't say for sure but from my understanding they have this figured out.

They will be at the Clean Show and I recommend making a point of finding their booth and really getting to understand how the drops can be configured and the benefits.

I will be converting more machines this year and I won't install a new machine without them.

If you can't wait. Give them a call and ask.
Imonex® Coin Acceptors - The Legend In Coin Flow
Imonex remove preview
Imonex® Coin Acceptors - The Legend In Coin Flow
View this on Imonex >



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Ken Barrett
Washin Oxford Coin Laundry

Ken@washincoinlaundry.com
Pell City AL
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31.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 10 days ago
Edited by Paulie B 10 days ago
Guys.....If you want to completely stop any kind of stringing or bra wire triggers, then my solution....like Mike Walsh suggested is to install "metal sensing" coin mechs.

I had some custom made for my Dexter dryers by Parker Engineering (also recommended by Mike Walsh). They cost about $200.00 each including the 24v transformer.

I don't think Parker makes them for Alliance products though, due to the myriad of model changes Alliance has.

Here's a YouTube demonstration I did a while back....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QunNz1pA65o

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Paulie B
Store Owner/ Employee
Mr Machine
New York City NY
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32.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 10 days ago
Which DO coin acceptors are best recommended for the newest Huebsch equipment to handle these  metal sensing issues?  Imonex?

Thanks
Jarrett

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Jarrett Lowenstein
Long Island, NY
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33.  RE: Theft Cought on Camera

Posted 10 days ago
Idk folks. 200.000 seems a. Bit much for an owner that all things being equal should be on top of his / her game. These things happen & if we run our businesses correctly we should be able to pick up on it.

 How many owners are there or come by everyday or @ different times throughout the day? How many rely on the attendants to do the overwatching. How many compare your totals with utility bills regularly. Better yet how many pull money every night?

 When it's all said & done it all comes down to how we mind our businesses.  If your in a bad area & are aware of it, then your level of vigilance should be directly proportional to the risk.

 We all are victims of theft sooner or later be it by strangers, customers, employees or even family members.

 It's ok to trust but verify....


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Juan
Store Owner/ Employee
Cocoa FL
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