Surge seen in business break-ins, burglaries

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — From Dec. 30, 2013 to Jan. 14, five businesses in Forsyth County and surrounding areas were broken into. Some were burglarized, according to Forsyth County Sheriff’s incident reports.

• At about 6 a.m. Dec. 30, deputies were dispatched to Zaxby’s, 6020 Bethelview Road, because the alarm had gone off.

When deputies arrived minutes later, the front glass door was shattered, and deputies could hear and see pieces still falling.

Deputies cleared the store and saw the manager’s office had been ransacked.

The manager of the store said the safe, which had $12,000 to $15,000 inside, was missing along with six register drawers with $100 in cash in each.

Apparently the perpetrators had some knowledge of the restaurant’s security system. Video surveillance showed two suspects running into the kitchen area from the lobby with their heads ducked down.

One perpetrator had a crowbar, and the other held an undistinguishable object. The perpetrators were seen running out of the manager’s office with the safe and what appeared to be the cash register drawers.

Deputies had received a “be on the lookout” alert from a Zaxby’s burglary in Canton, and the perpetrators there had a similar build to those in the Forsyth County burglary. The Canton burglary involved subjects entering in the same manner and also taking a safe with cash in it.

The manager of the Forsyth store said the Zaxby’s in Suwanee had also been burglarized in a similar manner and the safe taken.

• Deputies were dispatched to Cici’s Pizza, 2920 Ronald Reagan Boulevard, at about 7:30 a.m. Jan. 11 after employees saw the front glass door had been removed from the frame. The owner said the safe was pried open and $2,067 in cash was taken from moneybags. The damages to the safe and glass door have been estimated to be about $1,000.

• The manager of Car Café, 5770 Atlanta Highway, called to report vandalism and told deputies sometime between 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 and Jan. 12, someone had broken into the electrical room and ripped out all the breakers from the panel. Nothing seemed to be missing inside the store, but the perpetrator damaged two office computers and the bathroom toilets and sinks. The manager said he did not know the exact cost to repair damages, but it’s a minimum of $2,000. Deputies said there was no forced entry to the business, and the manager confirmed all the doors were locked before he left Jan. 10.

• An employee of the Glass Shack, 42625 Canton Highway, told deputies that around noon Jan. 12 someone had tried to break into the store through a side door that is never used. The door is screwed shut using a 2-by-4 plank across the jamb. The suspect did significant damage to the door and frame, but was unable to get inside.

• The motion alarm went off at the Oscarville Citgo gas station, 8430 Browns Bridge Road, around 4 a.m. Jan. 14. When deputies arrived, one of the store’s glass windows was shattered. An employee said 20 cartons of cigarettes worth $800 and about $100 in cash were missing. A yellow crowbar was found near the cash register and is believed to be what the suspects used to smash the window.