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Dunedin High Vending Machines Burglarized

About 15 vending machines were broken into, a school employee discovered early Friday morning.

About 15 vending machines were burglarized at , the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reported Friday.

A school employee discovered the break-in after arriving on campus around 4:30 a.m., according to a sheriff's office spokesperson.

Principal Rueben Hepburn said the burglary was out of character with the students' benign senior pranks. 

"The video footage shows a grown man," Hepburn said Friday. 

The surveillance video shows a man walking across the courtyard, Hepburn said. He used a pry bar to break open and remove the cash box from each of the machines, Hepburn said. No merchandise was removed.

The damage is estimated to be about $500 per machine, plus cash taken, according to deputies. Hepburn said he was told total damages were estimated at around $20,000 in parts and repairs. 

Pinellas County Schools owns and operates the machines, Hepburn said. A vending machine operator at the school Friday morning said the machines are routinely emptied twice per day — once in the morning and again at the end of the day. 

Detectives from the sheriff's office's burglary and pawn unit were called to the school, along with the crime scene unit.

All vending machines at the school are down until they can be fixed, Hepburn said.

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