Smash and grab burglar targets thrift store that helps pet charity, owner says

Smash and grab burglar targets thrift store that helps pet charity, owner says

The smash and grab burglar got little more than $100 for his trouble but he left a Wilton Manors thrift store in a $1,000 hole, the owner said.

The break-in at the Hidden Treasures Thrift Store happened about 11 p.m. Sunday when the burglar shattered the glass front door of the business at 2200 N.W. 9th Ave., and crawled through the opening.

“We lost, in the [cash] register, about $100 to $150 between change and singles and fives,” said Susan Martino. “But the real expense was the door that cost close to $1,000 to replace the glass at two o’clock in the morning.”

She runs the shop to raise money for the nonprofit Pet Project for Pets that helps feed and care for the pets of people dealing with poor health or financial challenges.

“The money is earmarked for veterinary care and transportation and home deliveries to immobile clients,” she said. “We don’t have an extra $1,000 or $1,500 to pay for a new door and buy a new register.”

Surveillance video shows the burglar grabbing the cash register from the checkout counter and walking out of the store. The empty register was later found behind a church a block away, Martino said.

When the alarm was activated a security company called her and the police to report the burglary. The surveillance video shows an officer arriving and walking through the store with a flashlight. A K9 officer also searched the store, she said.

“[Police] were here within a minute,” she said. “The [burglar] was quick, did what he had to do, and then you could see the flashing [lights] of the [police] vehicles and he ran out and disappeared.”

Investigators are asking anyone who may recognize the burglar or who knows anything about the break-in to call Wilton Manors police at 954-390-2150. Anonymous tips can also be given to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.

wkroustan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4303 or Twitter @WayneRoustan

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