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Thieves hitting vending machines to support heroin habits

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - It was a crime spree that spread across St. Louis County, the target vending machines on multiple floors at hotels and casinos. Police say Florida native’s 37-year-old Richard Willett, his girlfriend Jessica Nobles and her sister Samantha Cobb are the culprits.

Between the three of them they racked up nearly 20 counts of theft, burglary, property damage and stealing charges. They used the thousands they stole from the vending machines to support their daily heroin habits. The crimes happened between May 15th and June 25th.  Willett would break into the machines and the women acted as look outs. St. Ann Detective Sergeant Ron Martin says the crimes were also committed in other states.

"They were entering the structures where the soda machines were at forcibly and basically committing all of those crimes. During the course of the investigation it was a multi-jurisdictional investigation it was discovered that this was a nationwide thing they had been doing this from the west coast to southern parts of the states and worked their way up to the Midwest." said Martin

Trio hit vending machines in sunset hills, Frontenac, St. Ann, Maryland Heights, and other parts of St. Louis County including the River City Casino. Prosecutors are expected to present the cases to a grand jury at the end of the month.