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Local car wash forced to close after repeated attacks by thieves and vandals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A metro car wash has been cleaning vehicles for more than three decades. Its owner says it's time to close up shop, but not by choice.

FOX4's Melissa Stern spoke to the owner, who said he's throwing in the towel after thieves and vandals hit his business again.

“It's disappointing. I live in this neighborhood; this is my neighborhood,” Steve Reaves, owner of Squeeky Kleen Carwash, said.

Steve Reaves is closing the chain links to Squeeky Kleen Carwash,  at Bannister and James A. Reed Road, for good.

“I have no choice. I can't replace the coin receptacles. Without the coin receptacles, I can't take any money. I can't turn on the car washes. I mean, basically I've got a paperweight I can't put paper under,” Reaves explained.

The car wash has been around since 1983, but Reaves bought it 8 years ago.

Recently, he said thieves and vandals destroyed it, forcing him out of business.

“The first time that it had major damage was more than $11,000 and my insurance company canceled me and I have not been able to get insurance,” Reaves said.

Reaves said similar damage has happened twice since then.

“Close to $10,000 in damage the second time. This time, it's close to $30,000 in damage, and I have no insurance to cover it,” Reaves said. “Nobody was interested in covering me because of the number of break-ins that I've had.”

Reaves said the thieves have worked their way around every security measure he's put in place.

They stole his DVR, broke his security cameras, and even pulled steel doors off the building.

Over the weekend, vandals destroyed every coin machine at the car wash -- another costly blow.

“I since have found out when they cut the wiring, they shorted out all my equipment in the bays, so this is going to be close to $30,000 worth of damage,” Reaves explained.

Reaves said his car wash is useless without the stolen equipment.

“They all assume that it's on the insurance company, but insurance companies will not carry you if you're getting hit too often. It's hitting the little people,” Reaves said.

The family's last hope in starting over: a GoFundMe page, asking the community to help in any way they can.

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