Police: Man uses air vent to break into business, steal $3,000 f - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Police: Man uses air vent to break into business, steal $3,000 from vending machines

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Erik Crneta (Source: LMDC) Erik Crneta (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars over the course of two months from a woman he was staying with as well as a Louisville business.

During the overnight hours of October 23 and 24, Erik Crneta, 26, used an air vent to force his way into a business where he once worked in the 3700 block of Ruckriegel Parkway, according to an arrest report. Police said Crneta destroyed three vending machines and a coin changer in order to access about $3,000 in cash and coins.

Police said the business manager immediately suspected Crneta of the crime because of Crneta's known drug problem.

About one week later, the manager contacted Crneta by text message and led him to believe he'd been caught on camera committing the crime. Investigators said Crneta responded by saying he could not get into any more trouble and that he would "make it right." The manager didn't hear from Crneta again.

Crneta is charged with third-degree burglary. He has similar charges pending in court in a separate case in which he's accused of stealing money from vending machines at his place of employment.

In a separate case, Crneta is accused of stealing about $1,000 worth of items from a home where he stayed between November 24 and December 17, 2013.

Police said the victim's property had been pawned by a co-defendant named Anthony McCurley.

An arrest report states the victim confronted Crneta, who admitted stealing her property. He returned some of the items to her.

Crneta is charged in this case with theft by unlawful taking.

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