Crooks hit a dozen area car washes

While the Mid-South rode out the storm aftermath, a thieving duo went on a weekend crime spree, targeting Memphis car washes for cold cash.

Action News 5 spoke with several of those car wash owners today.

They said 12 Memphis locations were hit this weekend while they were at home riding out the storm's aftermath.

Vending machine vandals went on a rampage across North Memphis over the weekend.

Friday it was Aquawash. Saturday it was Wise Carwash. Then on Sunday, Jolly Wash.

All the owners had the same description for the suspects.

What the suspects didn't know is they were being watched.

"They were here about 15 minutes," said Jim Jolly, the owner of Jolly Wash. "They had a crowbar that was three to four-foot long and they actually tore the bill acceptor out."

Jim Jolly isn't too jolly about being hit twice in the last 14 months, but he has a surveillance system with 16 cameras that holds three months of video.

Aquawash Manager Jack Keely says he gets hit every other month.

"We've had so many claims that I'm not for sure they're gonna take any more of our claims," said Keely. "So now, at this point, you're almost held liable."

The owner of Wise Car Wash says the thieves got five dollars and it'll cost him $2,000 in repairs. The owner of Jolly Wash says they got four dollars and it'll cost him $400, but the public has been helping out.

"I've had two or three of them call me and say 'you might wanna go check your wash,'" said Jolly.

The Memphis Police Department said the car wash crime spree is now flagged as a recurring problem. That means they're closely monitoring the problem and patrol officers have been told to be on the lookout.