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Hidden Camera Helps Catch Vending Machine Thieves


All it took was a camera to stop it all.
Hidden cameras helped investigators nab a former vending machine employee on charges he stole thousands of dollars from machines at Moravian and Lafayette colleges.

Jason Thomas Hepler, 35, of 710 S. Hoffert St., Bethlehem, was arraigned Thursday on a dozen counts of burglary and 46 counts each of theft and receiving stolen property. He's in Northampton County Prison under $50,000 bail.

The thefts began in November and totaled more than $2,300, according to court records filed by Northampton County Detective Robert Miklich.

Employees with Canteen Covenco Vending Services, Upper Macungie Township, were able to identify Hepler after they installed hidden cameras in the vending machines to find out why they were losing so much money.

According to court records:

Hepler was hired by Canteen in 2006. In April 2008, Hepler was fired due to ''numerous violations'' of company policy and ordered to turn over the keys to vending machines.

In November, Canteen employees found numerous discrepancies in money collected from the machines, which were not broken into.

The discrepancies were all from vending machines on the campus of Lafayette and Moravian, a route previously assigned to Hepler.

After reviewing video surveillance from the machines, investigators were able to identify Hepler from a necklace he wore.

Original story here.
The best type of camera that could fit inside of a vending machine would be a board camera.


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