Rooftop burglars hit Family Dollar

Published 9:41 pm Monday, August 23, 2004

By By Chuck Bodiford
Police were called to the Family Dollar store located on East Church Street Wednesday morning after it was found that the store was broken into the previous night. The thieves apparently cut a hole in the building's roof to gain access.
Investigators with the Atmore Police Department confirmed that the building had been broken into sometime after closing on Tuesday night and before opening again, Wednesday morning. Lt. Charles Ellaird at the scene said that at this time there are no suspects and he could not confirm if anything had been stolen. "The store personnel will have to take account of their inventory before we know if anything had been stolen," said Ellaird.
Reba Phillips, manager of the local Family Dollar store, was the first on the scene and was the one to find the hole in the ceiling. "I came in and was at this register going over some things," said Phillips. "That's when I looked up and noticed some ceiling tiles were missing over by the office. I called my assistant in early since I already had a truck coming in and now I had those tiles to put back up. I walked over and noticed all the rubble on the floor. I looked up through the ceiling and could actually see the sky."
Further investigation of the store led to the office where it was found to be in complete shambles. "We also found that the safe had been snatched out of the floor, but haven't been able to get inside of it because the numbers on the dial is missing," said Phillips.
Donna Watson who lives nearby, said her dog must have noticed the activity. "Snowball was really barking and cutting up last night. I remember it was about 12:30, because I got up to tell her to be quiet. I thought she was barking at some kittens someone had thrown out around here."
At this time the crime is still under investigation.

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