© Ryan Cooke/Journal Pioneer
Brad Ramsay stands next to the automated teller cash payment box at his car wash, Wet 'N' Wild, in Kensington. A blowtorch-wielding thief made away with upwards of $1,000 from the box early Tuesday morning.
KENSINGTON – Brad Ramsay woke up to an unexpected phone call early Tuesday morning. What he heard on the other end was bizarre.
Somebody had stolen a substantial amount of money from the automated teller cash payment box at his business, Wet ‘N’ Wild Car Wash.
“They told me somebody was behind my car wash, breaking into the cash box,” he said as he takes a look at the box and smiles in disbelief. “Sure enough, they did.”
Police were called to the building after somebody had spotted a man on an ATV behind the car wash, attempting to cut his way through the box.
The bizarre part, Ramsay said, is the man was using a blowtorch.
As police arrived on scene, the man was just leaving. He fled through farm fields, making it difficult to track him. Police were unable to apprehend him.
Upon returning to the car wash, police found the burnt up box mostly empty.
In the end, the thief got away with between $700 and $1,000, a good chunk of it in loonies and toonies.
A K-9 unit search of the fields and wooded areas between Wet ‘N’ Wild and the Blue Shank Road led police to retrieving $132 of the stolen money along with other items which were not identified.
Ramsay sat in the main office of the car wash on Tuesday evening, watching the security tape over and over.
At 1:16 a.m., with the camera square on the box, a man pulls up on an ATV. He sits there for nearly a full minute, fiddling around with something unidentifiable before turning around, taking out the torch and lighting it up.
“If (the RCMP) had been just three minutes earlier, they would have caught him for sure,” Brad Ramsay, Wet ‘N’ Wild Car Wash
He then sits on the edge of the bike, with a propane tank secured on the back rack, and begins cutting away at the box.
During the next 21 minutes, he cuts through the steel door, and rakes up the money inside. Just as he pulls away, police lights can be seen pulling into the area.
“If they had been just three minutes earlier, they would have caught him for sure,” Ramsay said.
The box is damaged beyond repair, and early estimates say it will cost $24,000 to replace.
Looking around the area, Ramsay points out that the crime was plainly in view from Victoria Street West, yet the robber appeared calm and collected, taking his time on the tape.
“The guy seems like a real pro,” he said. “He made a huge mess, but he must have known what he was doing.”
Ramsay said he never thought anybody would bother to target his car wash.
“I just can’t believe it,” Ramsay said. “I’ve been here nine years, and nothing like this has ever happened. But I guess these days, you just don’t know.”
Kensington Police urges anyone with any information regarding this crime to contact (902) 836-4499 or 1-888-222-TIPS (8477).