05:53PM, Wednesday 07 November 2018
Thieves caused £10,000 worth of damage after breaking into a car park payment machine in Marlow – only to find £2.80 inside.
On Monday morning offenders took off the base door and whole top cabinet of a machine in Riley Road, but found a disappointing haul for their work.
It will cost an estimated £10,000 to replace the machine.
A spokeswoman for Wycombe District Council said: “Over the last few months we have been seeing unprecedented levels of theft both from, and of, our cash payment machines in car parks.
“We are doing our very best to mitigate the impact these kind of incidents will have on car park users, but we are simply not able to offer cash payment in all our car parks at the moment as a direct result of these thefts. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
“The intensity and frequency of the thefts we have seen from our cash payment machines in the last few months are totally unprecedented.
“In the past we have had sporadic episodes of theft, but in the last six months we have seen sustained and repeated attacks on our cash payment machines.
“Some of the thefts have been breath-taking. We have seen replacement machines being targeted within days of us reinstating them.
“We have even seen cash payment machines wrenched out of the ground by being attached to cars towing them away.
“The cost of repairing and replacing these machines is now running well in excess of £100,000.”
The council is in the process of reviewing its future parking strategy which is due to be discussed at its next cabinet meeting on Monday.
The review will look at ways to protect parking revenues and to improve the experience of motorists.
Thames Valley Police is investigating the theft.
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