Burglary spree hits Atlantic County businesses

February 7, 2011 3:39:26 PM PST
Hamilton Township, Atlantic County was hit by a burglary spree over the weekend and lawmen are trying to track down the bandit.

Draper Ellis spent part of his day making temporary repairs to a door that he'll have to replace. At 3:40 yesterday morning, someone kicked in the door and made off with the cash register even as the alarm blared inside his Mays Landing Auto Supply store.

"They went in, grabbed the cash register, ripped it out of the wall, and took off," Ellis said.

Police say less than an hour before, someone tried to break into Cousin Mario's Restaurant by shattering a rear door, but the bandit fled without getting inside.

The owners of Hamilton News and Tobacco weren't as lucky. A burglar smashed through their front door at about 7:30 a.m. and made off with a small cash register and about $100.

"A customer came to us early morning and he saw the front door was broken and called the cops," Vogi Patel of Hamilton New and Tobacco said.

Police are examining video from Patel's surveillance camera, but haven't yet released it.

Patel says it's dark, but shows one man entering the shop.

Police believe the same person is responsible for the three morning burglaries and one at 4:00 p.m. at the Historical Society Building.

A back window was smashed, but apparently nothing was taken.

As he worked on his door today, Draper Ellis says he's disheartened

"I've been here since 1993, I run a business in a small team, you think you know everyone," Ellis said.

Police are hoping the surveillance video will lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information should call Hamilton Township Police Department at (609) 625-2700.