Investigators Now Believe Thief Responsible For Fire At Pawnee County Business

Tuesday, March 28th 2017, 7:24 pm
By: News On 6

Investigators are now blaming a thief for the fire at a longtime Pawnee County business.

The investigation took a turn late Monday night when the owners of the Palace Pharmacy found narcotics missing.

Police said the thief made off with a good amount of drugs and then tried to cover their tracks by setting the place on fire.

3/27/2017 Related Story: Cleveland Community Recovering After Another Damaging Business Fire

Now, the Moore family is sifting through the pharmacy trying to clean up the mess the best they can.

“It's disappointing to see half a life's work in rubbles so to speak," Gary Moore said.

Moore has owned the Palace Pharmacy in Cleveland for more than 50 years.

"The drug store was established in 1917 and I bought it in 1966 from the original owners," he said.

Moore said he was shocked to learn the business had burned, and even more disappointed to find it was done on purpose.

“It's too bad the world is the way it is, you know, personally, about drugs," he said.

Chief of police, Clinton Stout, said it wasn't until they noticed things were missing that the investigation changed.

"When they went back in and found the drugs missing, that's when we knew we needed to look into it further, and that's when we pulled the video surveillance which made it through the fire, luckily," Stout said.

The video is a key element in the investigation.

As for Moore, he said it's hard to imagine what he'd say to the person or people responsible.

"Oh, I don't know, your days a coming or something like that. I don't know what you say to somebody like that," he said.

Cleveland Police said they do have a person of interest in the case but aren't releasing a name.

There's a reward for any information related to the crime. If you have any information you can all the Arson Tip Line at 800-522-8666.