Local News

Thief Targets Same Store 5 Times, Durham Police Say

Posted November 19, 2007

— Working the cash register at Durham's Town & Deli Grocery, cashier Abdul Ebdo has a clear view of the store's only door.

"We see all of them (the customers) – coming in and when leaving," he said.

Except for one nonpaying customer who apparently prefers to come in to the store in the wee hours of the morning through the back of the building.

Using some kind of sledge hammer, Durham police believe, the same person has broken in to the store through a brick wall five times this year.

The store has a security system in place with several cameras and motion detectors. And even though the cameras have caught him, the police have not.

In video surveillance from last week's break-in, the thief's bandanna covers most of his face.

Store manager Ali Obed said the thief was in the store for more than an hour. By crawling around, he somehow avoided the motion detectors.

"He walk(s) like a mouse," Obed said.

He stole cigarettes, cigars, lottery tickets and calling cards worth thousands of dollars. He also took what was left in the cash registers.

"He snatched a lot of tickets, like more than 100 of each one," Obed said.

Police hope that the thief will play his hand one too many times and they will break the case.

Another convenience store about a half-mile away has been broken into three times in the past six months.

Each time, the thief knocked down part of the brick wall in the back of the store. Investigators believe it is the same person.


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  • raysson Nov 20, 2007

    And the police department got there and did nothing??? Durham's dumbest cops. And it took them 10 minutes to get there....how pathetic!

  • raysson Nov 20, 2007

    1. I know exactly where that store is in East Durham off Angier Avenue. And the area is infested with the worst of the worst..Be forewarned if you ever on that side of town,don't do anything stupid and watch your back...the area in infested with thugs,crackheads and low-lifes.

    2. If I were the manager,I would have at least have cameras not only in the store but outside and around closing to solve any more problems of people breaking into your property,get yourself a good watchdog when the store is closed...either a Doberman,a Rottie or Pit Bull. Make sure the back of the store is fenced in to,and that way you won't have some crackhead off the street taking a sledgehammer toward the brick wall trying to get inside a store in the middle of the night for some treats.

  • sillyone. Nov 20, 2007

    No need to call the Durham police, it will take them 10 minutes to get there and then they will just stand around. NO wonder Durham is such a dump!

  • LuvLivingInCary Nov 20, 2007

    This can be solved very easily. Just leave a Doberman watch dog in the store at night.

  • jbroome Nov 20, 2007

    Obviously we need to limit possession of sledgehammers.

  • Tax Man Nov 20, 2007

    Time to set the trap - don't repair the bricks, just patch them - and fix those stupid motion sensors - put another detector that covers the area when he comes in - then have the signal call the owners cell phone when it gets tripped - he can call 911 and everyone can party at the store!

  • OLD PIRATE Nov 20, 2007

    IF and I mean IF they catch him the laws allow him to pull time or pay back what he owes..Rare is it that our system makes them do both... crooks 1 (and court appointed attorney) store owners 0

  • Titus Pullo Nov 20, 2007

    Soylent Green is the answer.

  • Dominion Nov 20, 2007

    What happened to a good ole-fashioned stakeout?? You'd think Durham PD would get the hint and set up shop somewhere nearby to watch the place. I guess that's too much for them to fathom and explains why Durham is covered in crime!

  • Spooner Nov 20, 2007

    5 times makes me think people REALLY want crack bad in Durham. Arm yourselves Durhamites; there is a thug coming for you soon. Be prepared, or be laid to rest.