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Middletown Transcript
  • Police: Townsend man charged with DUI, theft after trying to steal from car wash

  • A 24-year-old Townsend man is reportedly facing his third DUI offense and theft charges after police allegedly caught him prying open change machines at a Middletown car wash on Saturday.
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  • A 24-year-old Townsend man is reportedly facing his third DUI offense and theft charges after police allegedly caught him prying open change machines at a Middletown car wash on Saturday.
    Steven T. Cockerham of Ratledge Road was driving a blue Chevrolet Cavalier that police spotted in a washing bay at the Diamond Car Wash in the 100 block of Sandhill Drive about 9 p.m. after receiving a report of a suspicious vehicle, said Middletown Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Kelly.
    A responding officer immediately noticed that the car was parked unusually close to one of the change machines and the license plate had been covered with a brown piece of paper, Kelly said.
    After spotting the officer, Cockerham attempted to pull away but his car struck the curb twice before coming to a stop.
    Police said Cockerham was taken into custody without incident.
    Officers later found a pry bar in the rear seat of Cockerham’s car, along with about $150 in $1 and $5 bills, which is believed to have come from four change machines that were found to have been pried open at the car wash, Kelly said.
    Damage to those machines is estimated at $4,000.
    Cockerham is charged with driving under the influence, theft, possession of instruments facilitating theft and criminal mischief.
    He was taken to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, where he was being held on a $7,000 secured bond, Kelly said.

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