Two Fairfield Businesses Burglarized
Thieves Cut Through Walls
2/5/2014 by BY NORA CARROLL
Inside wall of Short Stop (left); outside wall of VFW (right)
Two Fairfield businesses sustained minimal loss and damages following botched burglaries, in the early morning hours Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
Fairfield police responded to a burglar alarm call received at approximately 2:45 a.m. to VFW Wilber H Bailey Post 5872.
Upon arrival, police discovered penetration thru the back metal wall of the VFW, near the back door. The suspects, who had just fled the scene, are thought to have used nippers to cut through the metal siding of the building.
?They knew what they were doing,? stated one post member, referring to the tools used to cut the hole in the heavy metal sheeting of the establishment.
Post Commander Roger Brooke disclosed that motion detectors picked up on movement at 2:37a.m. when suspects were cutting thru the wall. At 2:40 a.m., two males were caught on camera entering the Cantina and going straight to the ATM.
The offenders are described as male: the first suspect - tall and thin and the second - short and stocky. Both suspects were dressed in dark clothing, wearing gloves and masks. ?They were in and out in 2 ? minutes,? concluded Brooke, who viewed the camera footage.
Assistant Manager, Shirley Pickens made an interesting observation, noting that the wall where the small opening was created by the burglars, was the only space free of obstacles lining the entire wall. ?It may be a fluke, but they seemed to know exactly where to cut,? remarked Pickens. The ATM sustained heavy damage from prying to get it open. A twenty dollar bill could be seen sticking out of the cash box which was still in the machine. Police Chief Kenny Bulger stated that the thieves were unable to get to the cash, which was confirmed after Citywide ATM conducted an audit of the machine. A second ATM located in the same room, as well as money in the register and a storeroom full of alcohol were left untouched. Brooke estimated damages to be less than $1,000 to the Post, not including losses Citywide ATM company sustained.
(The VFW experienced a similar botched break-in approximately 2 years ago, wherein a would-be burglary was caught in the act of cutting through the west wall in the ladies? bathroom, while it was in use by the bartender, after business hours. The bartender called Law Officers and the suspect fled the scene. Since that incident, the establishment has installed an alarm system.)
Brooke indicated the alarm system and quick police response saved the establishment and thwarted the suspects into fleeing the scene before accomplishing their goal.
However, the two miscreants, still determined, try yet again to burglarize another establishment.
As law enforcement were still dealing with the VFW break-in, a mile or less down the road at Short Stop Convenient store, another burglary was in progress.
Again, entry was obtained through the east side wall of the building gaining access to a very small storeroom containing a large minnow vat. According to Short Stop management, only a safe under the counter was taken. Hundreds of dollars worth of tobacco products located only feet away were left untouched.
The owner of the business disclosed that they were not aware that the safe was not bolted down.
The suspects somehow managed to get the cumbersome safe through the small hole in the wall, busting waterlines leading to the vat, flooding the area. Then they attempted to drag and roll the safe from the area. The grass clearly showed their progress as they crossed thru a barb wire fence into a resident?s backyard, before being discovered by the resident. ?I?m amazed they got that heavy bulky safe thru that small hole,? stated Chief Bulger, ?it took four officers to get the safe into evidence!?
According to Bulger, a next door neighbor called the police reporting the thieves, admitting to officials that he had confronted the trespassers, receiving flashlights shined in his face. Once again, the thieves fled the scene, leaving behind their ill-gotten booty.
Chief Bulger concluded that he believed both businesses were burglarized by the same perps and the establishments were cased prior to the attempt, accounting for the precisely located entries.
Officers Kristy Lawrence, Sergio Palacios and Sergeant David Utsey are handling the investigation.