Smash and grab burglaries prompt alert for business owners

CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Thieves were caught on camera breaking into businesses and stealing the cash register. Authorities in Cherokee County are sending a warning to businesses after an up-tick in smash-and-grab burglaries.

“The thing that bothers us the most is we were violated,” said ‘Best Pizza in Town’ owner Lee Whiteside. “It was heartbreaking.”

Surveillance video shows a man smashing a glass door to get inside the restaurant this past weekend and taking two cash registers.

It turns out this business wasn’t alone.

“Somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 to 8 of them,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller. “We had two last night in our jurisdiction, two the night before and then the other ones started in the city limits.”

Sheriff Mueller says there have been several smash-and-grab burglaries in recent days.

He says the culprits either steal items or take entire cash registers that are dumped after they’re searched for money.

Early Tuesday morning Gaffney Police say two people were seen on surveillance stealing the cash register from ‘Chicken and More’ on East Frederick Street.

“There have been very small amounts that have been left in the tills but it’s a very small mount compared to the jail time that they’re going to get when they get caught,” said Sheriff Mueller. The sheriff’s office says they don’t believe this is the work of one person.

The sheriff says they think it’s a group of people who may be working together.

He says business owners need to be vigilant.

“Check your video surveillance system if you have that. Make sure it’s working. Make sure your burglar alarm is working,” he said.

They are extra security steps to prevent a crime Whiteside says could escalate if the business owner is still inside.

“It’s not worth your life or someone else’s life for a little bit of money,” said Whiteside.

Law enforcement has stepped up patrols in the area in an effort to address the issue. There’s also a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Here’s advice for business owners from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office: