By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
INOLA, OK – Some Green Country burglars are caught on tape. The News on 6 has the surveillance video from an Inola convenience store that was broken into early Sunday morning.
The men cut open the safe and were working on the ATM when they were surprised by an employee.
The funny thing about this video is it shows how much time the thieves spent trying to destroy the surveillance tapes, not realizing a newly installed backup system was capturing their every move.
The newly installed surveillance system clearly shows the burglars go for the store safe, which is under the counter. It's pretty heavy, but, they manage to pull it out, then later push it onto a two-wheeler found in the store, before taking it to a back room and using tools to pry it open.
The safe is still in the back room, ready to be shipped off to a welder for repairs. The burglars used saw-zaws to cut a hole in the roof, dismantled the alarm system, then dropped into the store.
The video shows they were inside for two hours. It shows them spending a few minutes unwinding what they believe are the store's only surveillance video tapes.
"They made an effort to dismantle the tape and recording system, but weren't smart enough to know there was a backup system," said Sheriff Scott Walton, Rogers County.
Even though their faces are covered, Inola police hope someone recognizes the men by their build or mannerisms.
After getting into the safe, they went after the store's ATM. While they were trying to pry it apart, a store employee showed up for work and surprised them. They made her lie on the ground, then packed their tools and ran off. It's clear these are more professional burglars than most, which helps investigators narrow their search.
"Not to be complimentary of these thieves and thugs, but, they have to have some expertise," Sheriff Walton said. "And we know a few people in the area who possess that to pull off these more sophisticated burglaries."
The Rogers County Sheriff's Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol are assisting Inola police in this case.
A dog tracked the men's scent out of the store to a nearby wooded area, where they found a container the thieves had stashed that still contained almost all the money from the safe.
Anyone with information can call the Inola Police Department at 543-8288.