Butler County coin machine break-ins under investigation

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:57 PM CDT
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POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Authorities in Butler County move quickly to solve a rash of coin machine break ins thanks to surveillance video.

The crimes happened in late July, but it took less than a day to get a lead on all four suspects once the video went public.

This online effort isn’t just racking up views but leading to dozens of arrest.

”People don’t want to wind up on Facebook,” said Dan Mustain, detective.

Mustain said when they do the department’s followers often put a name to the face.

“Depending on the quality of the video, most of the time they do have a pretty high success rate and I will say about 80 to 90 percent of them get identified,” said Mustain.

In fact it took just a day online before police got a call on this coin machine break in.

He said the suspect in the red shirt was wearing a hat that said Blytheville on it and surely enough they all appear to be from Blytheville or have some connection to Blytheville.

Mustain gives surveillance videos a twist by adding music to fit the theme of the crime.

He said Nothing makes me happier than seeing a good surveillance video.

When a woman stole the Christmas wreaths of the door of a Poplar Bluff flower shop the detective set her video to music from the Grinch and then watched the views top one million.

Mustain said his reach goes far beyond Butler county.

“There’s a few viral videos that I think that after that you notice there’s a bunch of more followers to our page and you see that the views on the page start to go up so now pretty typically like a video by the next day, I’ll have maybe like 15 thousand views,” said Mustain.

He said he thinks that’s one of the main factors why they are getting people identified because they have such a broad reach

Mustain said he does have his critics they question if he’s wasting time jazzing up these clips but he said it just takes a few minutes and all these views are well worth the time.

“I like a video that has like an interesting aspect to it, I look forward to those and I love seeing a good quality video,” said Mustain.

Detective Mustain said he expects charges on the two Bluff coin cases soon.

An investigator from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office says they’re working on misdemeanor charges connected to a coin machine case out of Qulin.

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