Burglars sought in Family Dollar smash-and-grab

JSO: 2 in stolen vehicle smashed through Family Dollar, stole safe

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for two burglars involved in a smash-and-grab at a Westside Family Dollar store last month.

Police were dispatched to the store at 6612 San Juan Ave. about 2:20 a.m. Jan. 27 in reference to a burglary alarm.

Extensive damage was seen to the front of the business. The large front window was completely shattered.

Police said a truck arrived at the store and the rear of it was used to ram the wall.

Two people were seen in surveillance video getting out of the truck, entering the store, stealing the safe and placing the safe in the truck. They then drove off.

The vehicle was stolen prior to the burglary and has been recovered, police said. Investigators said they're trying to identify the two burglars.

"It was scary, very scary that someone would do something like that," said Cathy Bartley, who works at Coin Laundry San Juan just blocks away.

Bartley said some people would have been using the laundromat when the burglary happened at Family Dollar.

"We have a TV where they can sit and be comfortable, and they don't really be scary, and for stuff like that, some people will be concerned about that and kind of scary, and that makes business bad," Bartley said.

This is the third dollar store targeted for a break-in in about a week.

Police said, the Family Dollar store on Shirely Avenue and Blanding Boulevard was hit several times by a stolen truck last Wednesday.

Police said, two people rammed a stolen truck into the building before running off.

It happened just three miles away from where a stolen truck hit a Dollar General on Jammes Road and 103rd Street last Thursday.

Police said those were also smash-and-grab attempts. In both cases, police have not made any arrests.

"I don't know if it's one person doing all those or if it's random things that are happening in the neighborhood, but it makes us nervous," said Jessica Pambhar, a pharmacist at nearby Lake Pharmacy. "Yes, it makes us feel a little unsafe, too."

Pambhar said her pharmacy has in place if something like that were to happen. But Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said business owners have to take it one step further.

"Of course you need a good alarm system so that when the windows are smashed, the police are on their way," Jefferson said. "But you have to keep in mind that these thieves are in and out really, really fast, so they have to depend on the surveillance cameras."

Anyone who has any information about the identity or location of the burglars is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or  Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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