Burglars cut through roof of grocery store ...

... to steal $82,000 in payroll checks that already had been cashed, say cops

June 21, 2007 at 1:28 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

HAHNVILLE supermarket
HAHNVILLE supermarket
One or more burglars using a torch and other sophisticated equipment, drilled a hole in the roof-top, of the Economical Supermarket in Hahnville climbed in and stole $82,000 worth of payroll checks and an undisclosed amount of cash on the evening of May 31, the Herald-Guide has learned.

Chief Deputy Joe Cardella of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s office said the burglary is more sophisticated than usual burglaries.

“We do know this burglary is different,” Cardella told the Herald-Guide.

“The suspect had heavy equipment, defeated an alarm system, cut phone lines and electrical power before entering the building.”

An official police report from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said store owner Mai Hoang, Kenner, entered her store on June 1, at 8:00 a.m. where she discovered everything had been ransacked and $82,000 worth of checks se had cashed for customers

“The payroll checks are normally not negotiable after they are stamped and cashed at the store,” Cardella said.
“However, merchants who may be presented with suspect checks should notify us as soon as possible,” he continued.

“Also if they can secure a copy of the person’s identification it could help us in the matter.”

According to official reports Hoang noticed that when she entered the building, the carpet cleaning machines were moved away from the wall.

Hoang said it looked like someone had attempted to cut open the ATM Machine.

“They then used a fire extinguisher to spray on the area where the ATM machine was cut open by using some sort of portable cutting torch,” he continued.

“She noticed that the register draws were pulled out and paper money was missing an trays were thrown onto the floor,”

Hoang stated that a hole had been cut into a rear wall and a two by three inch safe (grey in color) was pulled through the wall.

“She also observed that the back roll up door was open.”
The exterior outside light located above the front entry door was destroyed, the electric meters had been removed and the phone line was cut.

“Officers also observed a ladder on the southeast corner of the building that didn’t belong to the owner and two air conditioners in front of the ladder with footprints on the top,” Cardella continued.

“Our crime scene detective observed a red handled pair of metal snips near the hole in the roof, a rechargeable Dewalt Drill with a one inch hole saw attached to it, next to the hole in the roof,” he continued.

Officers spoke to a witness who said he was looking out of his window about 5:55a.m. June 1, and saw a full sized extended cab Chevy pick-up truck, black in color, pulling a trailer that had ramps on the rear.

“The witness further states that he saw what appeared to be three white males jump out of the truck run behind the Economical Supermarket and then pull off,” Cardella said.

No other recent burglaries fit this style, it’s obvious that the suspect spent a large amount of time inside the building and used a lot of unusual equipment to commit this crime.”

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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