Local News

High-Tech Burglars Strike Triangle Businesses

Posted June 20, 1999

— Officers all over the Triangle are searching for a high-tech band of thieves.

The most recent target was aWinn-Dixiein Apex, which is one of a half-dozen businesses hit in the Triangle. It is not the number of places that concerns police, but the way the burglars work.

"These burglars are very sophisticated," says Capt. Dwight Pettiford of theDurham Police Department. "We are dealing with someone that is very electronically inclined."

Surveillance cameras and alarms cannot stop them, and locked doors just slow them down.

"We've had them penetrate the roofs of facilities," Pettiford said. "We've had them pry doors open, or to defeat metal doors."

Pettiford says that once the brazen burglars get inside, they use the tools it takes to break the safes.

"They are able to drill the safes and penetrate the safes," he said, "and they have the tools to cut the doors off. When I'm talking about a safe, I'm not talking about your ordinary home safe -- these are commercial types of safes."

Police say the burglars are targeting any place with a safe. They have hit Winn-Dixie grocery stores inDurham,RaleighandApexas well as a couple of credit unions and a nightclub.

A few of the burglaries were on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, but many of them were on Highways 54 and 55 in Apex andCary. Most of the break-ins were in suburban areas.

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