Burglars stage early-morning break in

OKEECHOBEE — Investigators are searching for three men who used a concrete car stop to break into a S.R. 710 convenience store early Wednesday morning.

According to Michele Bell, public information officer for the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), the men apparently stole the car stop from a nearby business then used it to break through a concrete wall at the back of the store.

Hole in the concrete at the back of the convenience store that the burglars made.

Hole in the concrete wall at the back of the convenience store that the burglars made.

Surveillance video at the Town Star Convenience Store on S.R. 710 shows two suspects crawling across the floor as they prepare to burglarize the store around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28. The suspects wore jackets, gloves and masks. One of the suspects seen here was wearing a camo-style jacket. The thieves made off with an unspecified amount of cash. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

Surveillance video at the Town Star Convenience Store on S.R. 710 shows two suspects crawling across the floor as they prepare to burglarize the store around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28. The suspects wore jackets, gloves and masks. One of the suspects seen here was wearing a camo-style jacket. The thieves made off with an unspecified amount of cash. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

She said surveillance video at that business showed the men stealing the car stop just minutes before they broke into the convenience store.

When they arrived at the Town Star Convenience Store, two of the burglars entered the store through that hole around 4 a.m. while the third man remained outside as a lookout.

Once inside the two men took an undisclosed amount of cash. The men apparently opened the safe with some type of cutting tool and broke into the cash register, said Mrs. Bell.

She went on to explain that the subjects were seen on surveillance video stealing the 162-pound concrete car stop just a few minutes prior to burglarizing the store.

The convenience store’s surveillance video shows two of the suspects wearing jackets, masks and gloves. One of the men, said Mrs. Bell, wore a camo-type jacket.

Burglars used a concrete car stop to break into the Town Star Convenience Store on S.R. 710 early Wednesday, then went off and left it lying on the floor. Once inside, the suspects broke into a safe and a cash register. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

Burglars used a concrete car stop to break into the Town Star Convenience Store on S.R. 710 early Wednesday, then went off and left it lying on the floor. Once inside, the suspects broke into a safe and a cash register. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

“Obviously, I’m looking for help from the public. We’re looking for any kind of lead the public can provide,” said OCSO Detective Marty D. Faulkner, the lead detective on the case.

As people look at the surveillance photos, the detective urged them to “pay particular attention to the clothing the suspects are wearing.”

Mrs. Bell explained that when the three men took the concrete car stop they placed it in the

Burglar's vehicle.

Burglar’s vehicle.

back seat of a small sports utility vehicle — possibly a 2005 to 2009 Chevrolet Equinox. The SUV had dual headlights and possibly a luggage rack, she added.

Damages to the building and some of its contents are estimated to be in the thousands of dollars, pointed out Mrs. Bell.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, Detective Faulkner could not get into specifics about the case.

But, he did say he has “… evidence found at the scene that we’re working.”

The OCSO senior detective asks that anyone with information concerning this case can remain anonymous by calling him at 863-357-5330. Or, contact Treasure Coast Crimestoppers at 1-800-273-8477.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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