UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- Nearly a dozen restaurants in Union County have been hit by a duo of smash-and-grabbers.
Surveillance video from several of break-ins show two people using a large rock or concrete paver to smash through the businesses glass doors. The two thieves then dash for the cash registers and are out of the buildings within minutes.
“They appear to be somewhat familiar with the location of the cash registers, they’re in and out in 15 to 20 seconds in many cases,” said Tony Underwood, Spokesperson for the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Underwood says five of the robberies took place Tuesday night in and around Indian Trail.
Athens Pizza in Stallings was one of them. “They broke the window, it cost me like $500 dollars,” said Ray Bassami, who has owned the business since 2007.
His restaurant’s surveillance cameras captured the duo smashing through his front door and then rummaging through his counter. Bassami says they don’t keep cash there overnight, but they have been collecting donations as part of a drive for the homeless in the area. Bassami said they got away with that.
“But you know, maybe they needed it. If they did though, just come here and say 'I need $100 dollars, $200 dollars'. Why do they come here and break the window and make it worse for us?” said Bassami.
Deputies say thanks to surveillance video they know the duo drive a dark colored mid-2000’s model Chevy Suburban or something similar.
Police are looking to the public for help identifying the suspects. “They’re pretty bold, they’ve done it multiple times and they appear to be targeting a specific type of business,” said Underwood.
The Sheriff’s Office is warning all restaurants in the area to be alert and take precaution. Underwood advises never leaving cash at the restaurant and if you do, make sure it’s locked in a safe. He says it’s also a good idea to make sure your alarm system is operational.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (704) 283-3789.
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