‘Gumball Bandit’ breaks into doctor’s office, steals gumball machine from pediatric area

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SOUTH JORDAN — Some employees at Copper View Medical Center were a bit perplexed Monday morning when they discovered a front window had been smashed in and saw that the office gumball machine was missing.

Dr. Mary Tipton said surveillance video ultimately helped them figure out what had happened.

“This guy decides it’s going to be a great idea to roll up around midnight and bust in this window and steal gumballs from our pediatric patients,” Tipton said.

The medical center; KSL TV
The medical center; KSL TV

Tipton says the office opened in 2001 and the machine had been there the whole time. It had become a fixture there.

“We have patients that come all the time and they like to have maybe a gumball as a treat after they get a shot or something,” Tipton explained. “In fact, we had a 16-year-old in tears yesterday because she couldn’t have a gumball after her shot and she’s been doing that for 16 years.”

Surveillance video; KSL TV
Surveillance video; KSL TV

Tipton posted the surveillance video Wednesday night which shows a man pull his car up to the window. He opens his back door before smashing the window open and grabbing the gumball machine right behind it, dragging it into his back seat.

“I’m guessing it’s someone that had been in here; maybe a patient that we have or maybe a family member,” Tipton said explaining that the gumball cannot be seen through the tinted windows.

“I don’t know why he decided he wanted to steal the gumball machine," she said. "He may have a big desire to chew a lot of gum. He may want to put this in his man cave, I don’t know.”

In the video, the man tries to close his back door, but the machine is too big. He drives away with the door hanging open.

“Bit off more than he can chew,” Tipton said laughing. “But we’re going to burst his bubble, see if we can get some charges that’ll stick to him.”

Tipton says the damage and the loss of the machine totals around $3,000. She believes there were a few hundred dollars in quarters inside. She’s hopeful that someone might recognize the thief and help police catch him.

The window; KSL TV
The window; KSL TV

“Especially if he’s got a mouthful of gum,” Tipton joked. “Maybe you can identify him as our gumball bandit.”

Anyone who might have information that can help lead to an arrest is asked to call the South Jordan Police Department at 801-840-4000.

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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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