Police are investigating a handful of break-ins that occurred early Tuesday morning at businesses located along East Main Street in downtown Lincolnton.
According to police reports, of the five businesses that were targeted, starting sometime after 1 a.m., the culprit gained entry into three locations and attempted to break into two others.
Glass was busted out of several of the businessesâ€™ doors. Locations that sustained damage included Aerus Electrolux, One Main Financial, Chromcraft Revington furniture store, a side/back door at Watson Insurance and the front door of Exper-Teez, where store owner Chris Tabor told the Times-News that the culprits even damaged a wall and several ceiling tiles inside the store. He said more than likely the individuals were trying to access Stroupâ€™s Jewelers, located next door.
Even police sergeant Matt Painter thought that the culprits might have had an eye on the jewelry store. “Itâ€™s possible,” he said, adding that if the culprits had entered the store, an alarm would have sounded.
One of the culprits was injured during the break-in at Exper-Teez, Tabor said. Blood was still visible on both the sidewalk near the storeâ€™s front entrance and on store ceiling tiles. While Tabor noted that he had been cleaning up glass at the business since 5 a.m., he knew that pieces were still lingering along the sidewalk. He said he was concerned that dogs passing through the area would get glass stuck in their paws.
Taborâ€™s not too upset about the break-in, stating that it was “a good thing” that the store only suffered minor property damage. He does plan to install an alarm system at the store in the near future. A second Exper-Teez employee believed that Tuesdayâ€™s high-volume of break-ins was the culpritsâ€™ way of “scouting” out area stores before conducting similar incidents in the future.
Police said that a safe at One Main Financial was tampered with but not accessed in the incident. The companyâ€™s manager was unwilling to comment about the break-in.
“Weâ€™re not dealing with rocket scientists here,” Painter said of the culprits.
No items were taken in any of the break-ins, which all remain under further investigation.