Pickaxe roof thief comes up empty-handed

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October 16, 2006

It's a crime you don't hear about that often, but it happened twice over the weekend: a burglar created his own way of getting in by cutting a hole in the roof.

It happened at the Cherokee Shopping Plaza on the corner of Deans Bridge Road and Gordon Highway.

Not only did this burglar have to cut through a roof, but he also had to get through ceiling tiles and duct work before he could get inside...a lot of trouble to come up literally empty-handed.

Instead of coming in through a window or door, one burglar decided he'd make a grand entrance through the roof.

According to the incident report, the burglar used a pick axe tool to create a hole in the ceiling and dropped inside...all for an empty cash box. And it appears the same person went next door and tried his creative tactic one more time.

We talked with a manager just a couple doors down, at the Household Rental Store. Charles Taylor tells us that while a burglar has yet to come in through the ceiling, they have had someone come through the wall.

"Couldn't believe it," he said. "There was concrete rubble all over the place. We believe they used sledgehammers to get in."

Taylor says in that burglary, the suspect made off with $18,000 in jewelry...and less than a month later it happened again. This time, someone broke into the front window panel and stole a plasma TV on display.

"They put bars along the front to make it harder for someone to bust the window out," Taylor said.

Even with the extra surveillance, Taylor says without increased patrols in the shopping plaza, it's only a matter of time before another criminal comes up with a new idea.

"I just wait for it at night, a call from the alarm company to tell me to come in," he said.

Nothing was reported missing from the Clean Cuts barber shop. Investigators have no leads on a suspect.

This sounds unusual to us, but investigators have seen it before. The sheriff's office says it's not the first time someone has broke through the ceiling, but it is the first time they've seen it in a while.