Surveillance cameras catch thieves raiding Harlingen car wash

Dianne Wittenbach is the owner of three Clean Machine Car Wash businesses.

Two are located in Harlingen " one on F Street and the other on Loop 499, and the third is located in San Benito.

She and her late husband started the business about 30 years ago.

Wittenbach said they TMve managed to make it through the years, but it hasn't always been easy.

"Things have gotten a lot worse over the last few years, Wittenbach said. I think as the economy has gotten worse, we have a lot more robberies and stealing of things at the car wash. I don TMt know what they're doing with (the things they take or if) it's vandalism for the sake of vandalism, but every time it happens, it costs me money."

The latest hit, Wittenbach said, was Friday at about 10:30 p.m. at the F Street location.

Security cameras caught a suspect taking three stainless steel vacuum tops, which protect the machine's motors. Wittenbach said each costs about $300.

Wittenbach said she's looked at the security camera videos over and over again, and her frustration just won TMt go away.

It makes me very, very angry and I TMm sure a lot of people that have businesses understand this, Wittenbach said. You try your best to make your carwash location the best, to have the best equipment, to have attendants there to help and when somebody just comes in and takes your profit, it's extremely frustrating."

Wittenbach said her clients depend on her business to keep their vehicles nice and clean, that's why she's asking them, along with Action 4 viewers, to help put the alleged criminal or criminals behind bars by reporting any suspicious activity.

If not, Wittenbach said, she might be forced to shut down.

"If they would turn in someone like this, then justice would be done for everybody because if it keeps happening to me, I TMm serious, (customers) might not have a car wash there.