LIVONIA, LA (WAFB) - Police said thanks to tips from the public, two men have been arrested in connection with the theft of more than $1,000 from ice machines.
The Livonia Police Department reported Todd Purpera, 47, of Lakeland, and James Weatherford Sr., 47, were taken into custody. Police said a third suspect is expected to turn himself in Monday.
Detectives said they started getting calls through Crime Stoppers about the identity of the suspect, which led them to Purpera. Police said they found him Friday night and discovered a meth lab as well.
Purpera was booked into the Pointe Coupee Parish Prison on charges of criminal damage to a coin-operated device, felony theft and creation of a clandestine lab for a controlled dangerous substance (meth). His bond was set at $55,000.
Police said Weatherford was with Purpera on more than one occasion when the thefts were made. Weatherford was booked on charges of criminal damage to a coin-operated device and felony theft. His bond was set at $5,000.
The men are accused of inserting a $5 bill into the machine and pull it out as soon as the device recognized the money. Police said the machine would then give them $3.50 change every time the trick was done.
Surveillance cameras recorded the crimes being committed.