A Hot Springs man was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to breaking into an air freshener vending machine at a local car wash last year.
Christian Alexander Bice, 24, who has remained in custody since his arrest Jan. 29, pleaded guilty in Garland County Circuit Court to felony counts of breaking or entering and first-degree criminal mischief and was sentenced to three years on each count, to run concurrently, and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to the business and $170 in court costs.
According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly before 3 p.m. Dec. 8, 2017, the owner of Central City Sudz, 47012 Central Ave., reported that an air freshener vending machine had been pried open. Damage was estimated at $1,500, and the coin box and contents from a vacuum machine were removed.
She said she had checked her equipment and everything was fine the previous day, Dec. 7, around 4 p.m.
On Dec. 7, around 10 p.m., Arkansas State Police Trooper Michael Summit had checked on a suspicious gray Dodge truck that was parked near the air freshener vending machine at Central City. Upon arrival, he noted the front and rear driver's-side doors to the truck were open in an apparent attempt to conceal the actions of the driver.
He made contact with a man, later identified as Bice, who was standing next to the machine between the doors of the truck. Summit noted damage to the vending machine and a large amount of loose quarters, a clear bag containing quarters and some cash in the front seat of the truck.
Summit also noted a hacksaw, pliers, a small black plastic box with electrical wiring and the missing coin box. The incident was captured on Summit's car video.
Bice was apparently not charged at that time, but a warrant was later issued for his arrest by Hot Springs police.