CORAM, New York — Officials seized three vending machines that purported to be selling pens but actually dispensed carefully disguised crack pipes.
The blue-and-white dispensers mysteriously appeared outside a housing complex, a Home Depot and shopping mall on Long Island.
But while the machines offered “pens” for $2, a close inspection of what came out revealed a hidden glass tube and set of filters — a virtual crack pipe kit.
Authorities were alerted to the machines after residents grew angry and, in one case, smashed one of them open with a sledgehammer.
“There are some people who think they’re going to make some money out of this and prey on a community and promote drug use in a community,” Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine said at a news conference. “They’re going to be sadly mistaken.”
Officials pulled up three machines over the weekend on the grounds that they violated local codes against alerting public property.
While three machines have been located, officials said they couldn’t be certain there weren’t others and asked the public to report any more that they had seen.