CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Detectives from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are hoping members of the public can help identify the person responsible for breaking into a Charlotte Chick-Fil-A restaurant and using a blowtorch to steal from the restaurant’s safe.
The incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3 at the Chick-fil-A restaurant located at 10001 Rea Road near the Blakeney Shopping Center in the Ballantyne area.
Surveillance footage from the restaurant’s security cameras shows a man trying to break into the building through the drive-thru window.
Detective Adrian Johnson with the CMPD Crime Stoppers said the suspect was unsuccessful in his attempt to open the drive-thru window.
“When he realized that he couldn’t get through the window, he then went to the front door. He had a tool that he used to pry the front door open and that’s how he entered the business,” said Johnson.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect walking through the empty business.
The video shows the man locating the store safe and then using a blowtorch to open the safe.
Police said the store alarm never sounded because a restocking company that had been working in the building the same night had disabled the alarm.
“This is my first incident where I’ve seen a blowtorch used for burglary. You don’t see too many suspects with blowtorches,” said Johnson.
The detective said the suspect was eventually able to gain entry to the safe and steal money. Johnson said it is possible the man was familiar with the business.
“This may be a situation where the suspect had prior knowledge of how this business operates or he may know someone who works for this business,” said Johnson.
He said it is uncommon to see criminal activity near the Blakeney Shopping Center but is hopeful someone will be able to identify the suspect in the Chick-fil-A break-in.
“We’re hoping that somebody will recognize something about this video or pictures that we have and call in and give us his location,” said Johnson. “Someone may know this suspect in particular that happens to have a blowtorch. It’s not every day you meet someone that has a blowtorch.”
Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest.