Calif. Crews Free Would Be Soda Thief From Machine

Firefighters in National City on Saturday rescued a 17-year-old boy whose arm became stuck in a vending machine while he was trying to steal a soda.


NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- Firefighters on Saturday rescued a 17-year-old boy whose arm became stuck in a vending machine while he was trying to steal a soda.

The incident occurred at the 24th Street trolley station in National City and was reported at about 5 a.m.

The teen apparently reached inside the receiving slot of the vending machine in an attempt to steal a soda. At that point, his arm became stuck inside the slot. A trolley rider saw the teen trapped in the machine and called for help.

Police, firefighters, paramedics and trolley security responded.

The rescue took about an hour. Firefighters used axes, crowbars and an air chisel to try and dismantle the machine to free the teen. They eventually used a rotary saw to cut the lock on the door of the machine and the teen was extricated from the tight opening. He was then taken to a waiting ambulance to be checked out.

The teen's arm did show signs of scraping. He said his arm was sore but that he is OK.

After medics released the teen, he was taken into custody by police, who said he may face charges of petty theft.

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