FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A South Fulton business operator is pleading with police to step up their patrols after he says burglars outsmarted security measures by cutting through the interior walls to his store.
It was on Saturday when Fulton County Police responded to the Western Union at 5195 Old National Hwy after the store's manager, Sharif Mirza, called 911. According to Mirza, he came to work to open up Saturday morning and realized the alarm for the store had been disarmed. Suspecting something was wrong, Mizra said he called police immediately.
When officers showed up at the business and went inside, they found several holes in the walls, including the wall in the room where the safe is located. Police said thieves cut through the wall from the adjacent businesses and got inside the Western Union without triggering any alarms.
"They are professionals," Mirza told 11Alive's Jon Shirek Monday. "They exactly know what they are doing."
Mirza told 11Alive that the suspects disabled security cameras once they were inside the business, and used some sort of saw to cut through the safe, making off with what Mirza said was a small amount of money.
But Mirza said this is not the first time he and other businesses in that small strip mall have been robbed in this way. He told 11Alive this incident is the second time in two or three months in which thieves broke in through the interior walls of adjacent businesses to gain access to his, robbing him and other business owners.
"That time, they took the whole safe out," he said. He since got a bigger safe.
Mirza estimates that the total damage caused by the suspects on Saturday is almost $15,000. He said the ABC Learning Academy next door estimates about $5,000 in damage, though 11Alive hasn't been able to confirm that amount with the day care center owner.
Mirza said his security cameras show, just before the cameras were disabled, three people involved -- two masked men inside, and a third person outside in a getaway car.
If anyone has information on the incidents, they can share it with police or Crime Stoppers anonymously for a reward of up to $2,000. Crime Stoppers Atlanta: 404-577-TIPS (404-577-8477)