Brothers arrested for alleged laundromat ATM heist

Two brothers were arrested Monday for allegedly trying to steal an ATM containing $2,580 from a Kenai laundromat.

Christopher E. Brower, 50, and Kevin W. Brower, 51, were caught on video surveillance breaking into Kenai’s Wash &Dry laundromat and trying to steal cash from the store’s ATM in the early morning hours of Jan. 22, according to a police affidavit filed with the Kenai court.

Police say that video surveillance shows two men in a two-toned Ford pickup driving by the laundromat just after 4 a.m. on Monday morning. The men returned several minutes later, and one of them smashed the store’s glass door and headed for the ATM, according to court documents.

When initial attempts to steal the machine’s cash failed, the two unsuccessfully tried to move the machine, according to court documents.

The two then allegedly left and returned with tools, including a tow strap and sledgehammer. According to the affidavit, video surveillance shows one of the men carrying the tow strap inside the store. The strap appeared to be too short to attach to the machine. The man then hit the machine with a sledgehammer and the two left, the documents state.

Police estimated that the ATM was worth approximately $3,000 and contained $2,580 in cash.

After police shared the suspect’s photos and information, Alaska State Troopers found the truck pulling into the Kenai Safeway parking lot. Police found burglary tools allegedly used in the break-in in the back of the pickup, according to court documents.

In an interview with officers, the two admitted they had broken into the Wash and Dry earlier that day, according to the affidavit.

The two were charged with second-degree burglary, a Class C felony, second-degree attempted theft, a Class C felony, third-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony, and possession of burglary tools, a Class A misdemeanor. Both Browers were arranged on Jan. 23 and released on $5,000 unsecured appearance bonds and $5,000 unsecured performance bonds.

Reach Erin Thompson at erin.thompson@peninsulaclarion.com.

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