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Thieves Loot Argonaut, Smash Gumball Machine

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The Argonaut can't catch a break. At the end of last month, the popular H Street NE bar was extensively charred by a kitchen fire. And over the holiday weekend, the place was looted. According to the tavern's website, the thief dislodged a window air conditioning unit to get in, then did the following:

  • Broke the gumball machine, stealing all the quarters stockpiled there;
  • Opened the downstairs jukebox to try and get the cash out of the collection box (there wasn't any money in it—it was removed the day after the fire);
  • Rummaged through the downstairs bar cabinets;
  • May have fallen down the basement stairs—the owners found some broken bottles and a bar stool at the bottom of the staircase behind the bar.

Police dusted the place for prints and found some on the "windowsill, the air conditioning unit, the cash collection box in the juke, and the gum-ball machine," the website says. The prints will be sent to the FBI.

This isn't even the first plundering of the establishment since the fire. Right afterward, thieves got  their hands on a cooler and some umbrellas. But it takes a special kind of dedicated—and shameless—burglar to break into a gumball machine.

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Thieves Loot Argonaut, Smash Gum Ball Machine was originally published by Washington City Paper on Jul 6, 2010

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