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Caught purple-handed: Dye does in Pa. man in theft from parking meters

parking meter
Percentage of meters showing high levels of contamination: 40 Wikimedia Commons

(CBS/AP) SOMERSET, Pa. - A man in southwestern Pennsylvania suspected of stealing hundreds of dollars from parking meters since November has been caught purple-handed.

Somerset police Chief Randy Cox say police applied a purple dye to the inside surfaces of some meters which were previously broken into and then repaired, and then aimed a security camera at them.

Justin Hardesty, 22, was captured on video Sunday and found with purple hands (i.e. purple-handed) before police say he confessed to stealing about $250 from the meters.

Police say the meter repairs have cost about $5,000 in Somerset borough, about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

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