MONROE, NC (WBTV) - Monroe police say they are looking for the person who is seen on video backing a stolen car into two stores and stealing from one of the stores.
Officials say the car was reported stolen out of Charlotte.
Police say the driver backed the car into the stores around to break and enter into them. The Page Plus store on Franklin Street was one of the stores broken into around 4:19 Wednesday morning.
"It's heartbreaking. I can't believe it actually happened," A.J. Singh told WBTV. "It's amazing that people have the gall to do this."
Singh said this is the third time in three months thieves broke into his cellphone store.
After each break-in, workers learned how to better secure the store. Wednesday morning when the thief finally smashed his way - after several attempts - he had a surprise waiting for him. There was not a lot to steal.
"For the past two months we've actually noticed they've stolen all of our things off our shelves," Singh said. "So we learned by this time we should probably clear all our stuff off the shelves as soon as we leave."
Singh said the man made off with headphone and a charger worth about $50.
The store's alarm notified Singh and Monroe Police something was wrong at the store. Singh said officers missed catching the thief by seconds.
A short time later, there was another incident - same man in the same car.
The other store, Raceway #7 on Lancaster Avenue, was reportedly broken into 8 minutes later at 4:27 a.m. The cash register was taken from that store, according to police.
The owner of Raceway said she saw the smash and grab on her cellphone, where she can monitor the store's surveillance cameras.
Neither she nor police could get there fast enough to catch the culprit.
After several attempts to smash the glass door, the man finally got in but spent about ten seconds inside the store. On the video, you can see him running directly to the cash register, yanking it out, and running out of the store with it.
The owner of Raceway says there was no money in the register.
Sometime after the two break-ins, the car was back in Charlotte.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police tell WBTV the stolen car was recovered but officers are not saying where in the city it was found. The thief has not been caught.
Back in Monroe, Singh - the owner of Page Plus - said even though not much was stolen this time, the break-ins take a toll.
"More emotional fatigue you have from all this happening," he said. "How do you sleep at night right? Is Monroe safe? Is it okay to be in business?"
Still, Singh opened his store for business Wednesday morning.
"It's just to let them know hey you guys didn't win. We're stronger than that and I'm not going to allow you to have that power over me," he said. "So you did what you did but that's perfectly fine but you didn't win. We also know we're coming for them. We have enough evidence on them that they're going to get caught - that's the best feeling out of all of this."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Union County CrimeStoppers at 704-283-5600 or the Monroe Police Department at 704-282-4700.