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Boy Finds Cocaine Inside Toy From Restaurant Vending Machine [Updated]

The putty toys in question. (Photo courtesy of the Bell Gardens Police Department)
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[Update: 6/8/17]

That "cocaine" that the Bell Gardens Police Department said was discovered in a toy vending machine? Well, it wasn't cocaine. As reported on ABC 7, the department now says that initial testing of the white substance had produced a "false positive."

Police say they are "confident that it is not cocaine nor does it pose a health risk." Well, that solves that case.

[Original 6/7/17]

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A mother and her son came across a surprise on Monday when they inserted 25 cents into a toy vending machine at a Bell Gardens restaurant; aside from getting the putty toy they were expecting, they also found cocaine.

According to the Bell Gardens Police Department, the boy was playing with the putty when "it ruptured and a white powdery substance came out." The mother called the police department, and it was later determined that the substance was, in fact, cocaine. A total of 136 grams of cocaine bundled in other packages was recovered and removed from the toy machine at Taqueria Los Altos restaurant. According to CBS News, police said that the putty toy that the boy purchased had a smiley face on it.

Officials said that a phone number on the machine was registered to a company called Snack Time Vending. A woman at Snack Time (who refused to provide her name) told LAist that the vending machines did not belong to her company. "In that restaurant there are about 10 machines, and only two of them are mine. The machines in question are not mine," she said, adding, "I'm getting targeted unfairly and we didn't do anything. We've been in business for 15 years." She claims that police, after finding a phone number on her machine, mistakenly linked the other machines to her company.


The vending machines. (Photo courtesy of the Bell Gardens Police Department)
According to CBS News, detectives do not believe that either the restaurant or the vending machine company are involved; they're currently investigating how the cocaine got into the machine. "We contracted with this company for the past couple years, but no way are we affiliated with this company. We only lease the location to the company," Alfredo Sanchez, a spokesman for the restaurant, told CBS.

Regardless, the Bell Gardens police are urging local restaurants to contact the department if they have a machine from Snack Time Vending on the premises. People with information can call either the department at (562) 806-7600.