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!
------------------------------ZEE NADIRStore Owner/ EmployeeGRANADA HILLS CA------------------------------
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.
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
No need to be a jerk and correct his spelling. Either help him out with his question or dont respond.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
------------------------------Michael Walsh http://kingkoin.com/USA_Deficit_Reduction.htmlStore Owner/ EmployeeKing Koin Laundry, Car n Dog WashBismarck ND
------------------------------DAVID CHAMLEEService Technician since 1986and sometimes Laundromat OwnerCCRSanta Barbara, CA
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.
------------------------------Larry AdamskiStore Owner/ EmployeeMuskegon LaundromatSpring Lake MI
------------------------------GREGStore Owner/ EmployeeHACIENDA HEIGHTS CA
Got it thanks
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.
------------------------------Larry AdamskiStore Owner/ EmployeeMuskegon LaundromatSpring Lake MIOriginal Message:Sent: 01-28-2016 17:00From: GREGSubject: Theft Cought on Camera
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.
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.
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.
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?
The crazy part of the story is that the customer did this while you were in the store collecting...
Yes crazy indeed... And I was just figuring out how to play recorded files on the new DVR and noticed something funky.
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.
------------------------------ZEE NADIRStore Owner/ EmployeeGRANADA HILLS CA
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!
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.
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.
Thanks Steve, I completely agree!
Is there a way to cheat on the ESD Coin slides for top loaders?
The Coin Laundry Association is a strong, vibrant network of laundry owners, distributors and manufacturers.
1s660 Midwest Road, Suite 205 | Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 | 800-570-5629