Best Buy Heist: Burglars Dig Hole In Store Roof And Steal Goods Ahead Of Black Friday | Baldwin County Alabama News
SPANISH FORT, Alabama (WALA) – At least two burglars cut a hole in the roof of the Best Buy store in Spanish Fort and stole a large amount of computer equipment within days of Black Friday, police said on Wednesday.
Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber told FOX10 News the burglary happened early in the morning when the store was closed. He said surveillance footage shows at least two people.
He said the thieves were targeting Apple products. Barber said he did not immediately have an amount of loss, but added that it was substantial.
“It was sort of the Grinches who stole Christmas, and we plan to get them.” he said.
Spanish Fort police said the break-in took place between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Surveillance footage shows two people, dressed in black with their faces covered, climbing into the store and carrying a large amount of computer and electronic equipment.
âThey made a big hole in the roof, entered Best Buy with a ladder they brought. They left a ladder there, âBarber said. âThey spent quite a bit of time inside the store, mainly targeting Apple products. And also, they got into other laptops that were in those cages.
Barber said it reminded him of a network of professional thieves that struck Best Buys in the South East a few years ago. He was part of the Mobile Police Department at the time and said criminals hit the store there and at Spanish Fort.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said on a conference call with analysts this week that theft was becoming a bigger problem – so much so that it was shaking employees. She said the company was increasing security in response.
“It is traumatic for our associates and it is unacceptable,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to try to make the environment as safe as possible.”
Best Buy shoppers on Wednesday expressed shock at the brazenness of the crime.
âSomeone knew what they were doing,â said Jerry Brown, an Elberta resident who was looking for games.
Frank Diaz, who was traveling from Memphis to Pensacola, stopped by the store for a loader.
âQuite ingenious,â he said. âNot necessarily ingenious, but from what I understood, the way it was done is very – they would just put in that much effort to design or create something. It’s still quite shocking. â¦ It’s just terrible to hear that someone would do this just two days before Black Friday.
Barber said the burglars spent around two hours inside the store, methodically removing valuables. Afterwards, he said, they left the ladder. Police found discarded saws, bolt cutters, drills and other tools in the store and on the roof.
âThe people who hit the store planned it,â he said. âThey knew where the merchandise was in the store, they knew how it was positioned, so they knew when they walked in how to minimize their movement. So there was a lot of planning that went into this. “
Barber said detectives had solid clues.
“We have a few leads, and we’re exhausting them right now,” he said. “I hope to put someone in jail before Christmas – I hope before Black Friday.”
Updated at 5.30 p.m. with additional information.
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