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Store owners tiring of constant break-ins

Staff report
A rash of store break-ins took a new twist over the weekend.
Instead of carrying off beer and cigarettes, the thieves carried off a safe the size of a small refrigerator from Enochville Food Center.
It’s the third store in the Atwell-Enochville area to be targeted in the last couple of weeks. Two of those stores, Mault Brothers Texaco and Atwell One Stop, have been hit twice in the last couple of weeks.
The cost is mounting for the store owners, both in loss of merchandise and in repairing and replacing doors and glass.
Jane Culp, manager of Enochville Food Mart at 915 N. Enochville Ave., came to work Saturday morning and found the latch broken off the back door and a handtruck sitting outside.
Culp checked the store and found nothing missing except the safe from her office.
“They didn’t go in the front part of the store,” Culp said. “Somebody had to know (about the safe).”
A short distance away, Butch Rumple continues counting his losses.
Rumple, who owns Atwell One Stop, has trouble keeping up with the dates and details.
According to the Rowan Sheriff’s Office, someone broke into the store at 5945 N.C. 152 between 8 p.m. Thursday and 5:15 a.m. Friday.
“The broke the door, took 10 cartoons of cigarettes … about $450 worth,” Rumple said. It cost him about $125 to fix the door.
A week earlier, a thief or thieves carried off cigarettes. “They kicked the front door in like they usually do,” Rumple said.
Earlier this year, thieves took almost $3,000 worth of tobacco products and beer after kicking in the front door. And a few weeks before that, they took $1,500 worth of tobacco products.
Rumple said he was glad to read in the Mooresville newspaper that the Iredell Sheriff’s Department had arrested three people and had solved those break-ins. He hasn’t heard anything official from either the Iredell or Rowan Sheriff’s Office.
Thieves have had a tougher time at Mault Brothers Texaco on N.C. 152 near the intersection with N.C. 153.
“They’re breaking in at night, knocking the windows out,” Bobby Mault said Monday.
His business has been hit twice in the last three weeks.
Mault, who has operated the store for 56 years, learned years ago not to leave cigarettes in the store. That night he slipped up and left a few in easy view.
Anyone with information on the break-ins is asked to call the Rowan Sheriff’s Office at
704-216-8700.

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