Taft Police graphic

Taft Police arrested a Bakersfield man they say was trying to steal money from a coin-operated air machine Sunday night and have linked him to an earlier theft.

Sgt. Corey Beilby said a patrolling officer saw a silver Buick near the air and water machines at Gas Wars at Tenth and Center.

That vehicle was similar to one seen on surveillance video from a prior theft from a change machine at a downtown laundromat, Beilby said..

The officer contact the man and woman with the Buick and determined the man was in the process of drilling out the coin holder in the air machine.

He was identified as Ryan Wayne Hughes, 46.

Officers also found several tools, including a drill, lock pick kit and other items, Beilby said.

Hughes was arrested and charged with vandalism and possession of burglary tools.

He also had a felony warrant out of Bakersfield, Beilby said.

The woman was cited and released for possession of a controlled substance after officers found 1.8 grams of meth in her possession, Beilby said.

Police are submitting a report to the Kern County District Attorney's Office seeking charges against Hughes in the Sept. 30 burglary, too.