BLACKFOOT – On March 5, the Morning News dispenser located in front of Martha's Cafe was stolen. With no clues or leads to go off of, it was expected that this piece of equipment was long gone.
The dispenser in question was often emptied of papers by the patrons of Martha's Cafe, being a common place for people to get their newspaper.
The box was originally found to be missing by the carrier who serviced the rack. She made contact with the Publisher, Elisa Magagna, and explained that the box was missing, leading to a police report being filed.
However, on April 12 the stolen dispenser was returned to the Morning News by the Fort Hall Police Department. It came back missing the coin receptacle, and the money that had been previously deposited into the machine. It appears as though whoever stole the unit used a crowbar or some other tool to prior the front panel off of the dispenser, with hopes to access the change in the coin box, but that did not work. Without having access to the coins through the front of the machine, the mechanism that operates the door after change is deposited was then destroyed, presenting access to the coins. Besides being partially destroyed, the machine was returned with only the newspaper dated March 5 in the display window.
The box had been abandoned in the mountains on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation according to the officers who brought the dispenser back to the Morning News.