Man charged with stealing car wash payment terminal

Accused thief turned in by woman in whose garage he stowed machine

SAN ANTONIO – A man accused of stealing a car wash payment terminal was turned in by the woman in whose garage he allegedly stowed the machine.

Joseph Cortez, 34, is charged with theft between $30,000 and $150,000. It's the ninth charge he faces since he was booked into the Bexar County Jail in August.

Police say Cortez was caught on store cameras removing the payment terminal from a concrete block stand on July 31 at Bubble Bath Car Wash on San Pedro Avenue.

The car wash owner estimated there was about $5,773 in cash in the machine, which is itself valued at $44,087, for a total value of $49,860.

About two weeks after the theft, a woman tipped off police that Cortez had been storing the machine in her garage. She also provided a statement and identified a photo of Cortez.

Police matched the serial number of the machine to the one stolen from the car wash. They also recovered 11 Bubble Bath Car Wash gift cards.

Cortez has been booked in the Bexar County Jail since Aug. 23 on a variety of charges, including criminal mischief, assault on a spouse, evading arrest and burglary of a coin-operated machine.

His combined bond amounts total more than $41,000.


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