Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:13PM - 147 Views
Cris Ritchie

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HAZARD – The Perry County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a late night burglary at a local restaurant just outside of Hazard city limits.

It was Thursday night when someone broke into the back door of the Papa John’s Pizza on Ky. 15 north of Hazard before making away with approximately $400 from the store’s safe.

“All they did was go to the back door, probably took a crowbar or something and pried it open,” noted Perry County Deputy Ruey Couch.

The business’s telephone lines were cut during the burglary, though at the time the store did not have an alarm or cameras, Couch added, and it appeared that the thief, or thieves, used a dolly to move the small safe to their vehicle. Couch described the safe as small one that one or two people could handle. It contained only the store’s start-up money at the time.

Couch said it is unclear how many people were involved in the break-in, and authorities were not able to gather much evidence because the restaurant was not equipped with a security system.

“Basically, the only obstacle they had was to open the back door,” Couch said.

Though the business was not equipped at the time of the theft, Director of Operations Scott Wiley told WYMT-TV in Hazard last week that there will be upgrades made to help prevent this type of theft in the future.

Thursday’s burglary is not the first restaurant break-in this year in Perry County. On May 21 a video surveillance system captured two men breaking into the safe at the Ponderosa steakhouse, where they stole approximately $3,000. According to police, the thieves disabled the business’s alarm system. The store’s manager has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

In late September the Hardee’s restaurant on Ky. 15 was broken into, and again the thieves targeted the safe, getting away with an undetermined amount of money.

Anyone with any information into Thursday’s theft is asked to contact the Perry County Sheriff’s Office at 606-439-4523.

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