NEW PORT RICHEY — Authorities say as many as 35 St. Petersburg Times newspaper dispenser boxes across Pasco County were broken into and robbed of the cash inside. Several Times subcontractors discovered the thefts early Monday as they rode on their usual paper routes, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
No arrests have been made in the case.
The padlocks on the boxes had been cut, and all the cash inside had been removed, the Sheriff's Office said. The thieves left the newspapers.
Subcontractors told deputies they paid between $8 and $15 for the locks, which they must now replace. The Sheriff's Office did not disclose how much cash had been taken, although one of the victims, Melissa Gilbert, estimated she had lost as much as $100 in change from six boxes.
The rash of thefts follows a string of similar incidents in December and January, when several dispenser boxes worth several hundred dollars were reported stolen and turned up days later.
They were missing their cash, but the newspapers were still inside.