Man wearing ape mask, armed with sledgehammer accused in theft, Florida cops say

·1 min read
Charlotte County Sheriff's Office

A man wearing an ape mask and wielding a sledgehammer is accused, along with a woman, of stealing about $800 from a laundromat in Florida, according to authorities.

The duo entered an Englewood laundromat on May 8 when he smashed a coin machine with the sledgehammer, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

As he hit the coin machine the woman can be heard yelling on a security tape, “We gotta go. You’ve been in here too long,” according to the release.

As he grabbed the cash she picked up the sledgehammer and they fled in a blue Mercury Marquis, the release said.

After deputies asked the public for help in identifying the man and the woman, the sheriff’s office was flooded with tips.

Deputies identified the 34-year-old woman, who had changed her hair color from blonde to blue, and when she was questioned, she gave a full confession, the release said. She was arrested on May 11, and the 32-year-old man wearing the ape mask was arrested on May 16.

The man and the woman are being held at the Charlotte County Jail, the sheriff’s office said. Both face charges of criminal mischief of more than $1,000 damage and grand theft property more than $750 but less than $5,000, according to arrest records.

“I want to thank the community members who never fail to share information that helps catch criminals,” Sheriff Bill Prummel said in the release. “It sends a message to anyone who thinks maybe they can get away with something. You can’t, because this county is unified in keeping crime out and ensuring accountability for those who try.”

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