Thieves burrow through church wall in Southwest Philadelphia

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Police release surveillance video of crawling burglars. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 5, 2017. (WPVI)

Philadelphia police have released surveillance video to help them catch a pair of tunnel crawling bandits.

One of the two thieves is captured on video squeezing through a hole in a wall of Jennifer's Groceries in the early morning hours of April 18.

Manager Rayni Guichardo arrived later that morning to find his store in disarray.

Police say the suspects first broke through the back door of The Church of God in the World.

Once inside, they cut a hole in a wall leading to the adjacent Unwired Solutions cell phone store where they swiped phones and a small amount of cash before cutting another hole into the adjoining grocery store.

Philadelphia police Lt. John Walker said, "They're light cinderblock walls and drywall. So they were able to use small tools and kick through the walls."

The thieves pried open the cash register and broke into the lottery machine which has since been replaced. In all, the burglary spree lasted four hours. Police say the thieves made off with tickets and a small amount of cash.

"It's amazing how much effort they put into this for the end result, if you look how much damage they caused. They probably caused more damage for these people than the items they stole," Walker said.

Since their faces are blurry, police are asking the public to take notice of the way the men walk and their clothing.

And while frustrated by the inconvenience, Guichardo is grateful no one was hurt.

"We don't want it to happen at all but in the middle of the night we not here. So that's better, said Guichardo.

Anyone with information is asked to call 215-686-TIPS.

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