Local News

Thief Targets Same Store 5 Times, Durham Police Say

Posted November 19, 2007 7:06 p.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2007 10:27 p.m. EST

— 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.