Leon Shell

NEWBERRY, SC (WIS) - UPDATE: Shell is in custody at the Coweta County Sheriff's Office in Georgia. He was arrested after officers saw him acting suspicious there. He was arrested and booked and is currently awaiting extradition back to SC.

We're putting the spotlight on 38-year-old Leon Shell, wanted for breaking into a center for special needs persons and destroying their vending machine.

Whether Shell knew it or not, the vending machine means a whole lot more than just a bag of peanuts.

"When we found out it was broke in, we were devastated," says Connie Coleman of Voices for Pride.

Coleman and her friends don't know why someone would target their vending machine and leave it damaged beyond repair.

Police say it's the work of Leon Shell from Newberry.

"I was surprised that somebody would come in here and take somebody else's money," says Coleman.

Connie is in a group of special needs persons who meet at the Pride Cafe inside the Newberry Industries building.
Their vending machine is the group's main source for fundraising.

"We get our profits from it," says Connie. "Put our money in the bank and save up for conferences, self-advocacy conference, and we buy different items on our wish list."

Topping the group's wish list now is catching Leon Shell.

Police say some time on the night of April 24, Shell went to the back of the Newberry Industries building, broke through the glass, opened the door and went inside.

Officers tell WIS News 10 he walked through the warehouse and came into the Pride Cafe, broke into the vending machine and stole about $30 in cash.

But in doing so, police say Shell destroyed the machine, costing the group about $2,000 to replace it.

"Oh, a lot of hurt, and a lot of money got gone," says Coleman.
Police believe Shell's motive was simply to get some quick cash.

We asked Connie if she thought Shell realized what it meant to her group. "No, he don't, he should know, realize that we're people with disabilities, and he shouldn't have did that, he should pay for what he done," she said.

Police believe Shell is still living in the city of Newberry. If you see him, call law enforcement immediately.

Reported by Jordan Sandler

Posted by Logan Smith