Police investigating string of burglaries

BY PAT FARNELLI

At least three businesses were broken into late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning last week in Susquehanna County.

According to Checkered Express/CITGO station owner Peter Patel, the intruders entered through a window and were caught on a surveillance camera, which was turned over to police.

They appeared to be two men in their twenties. The alarm in the front door area went off, so the thieves ran away with the register containing approximately $250.

“They took the whole thing,” he said.

The store was using a loaner register in the meantime.

A trail of change led across the parking lot, located at the crossroads in Springville on Route 29.

The only other items missing were several cartons of Sonoma cigarettes, and nothing else appeared to be disturbed.

Patel purchased the gas station and store about six years ago, and said nothing like this has happened during his ownership.

At the Elk Lake Filling Station, which no longer sells gasoline, someone used a pry bar on a side window, broke the metal frame, and smashed the double pane of glass, said owner Lori Davis. She and her husband Bill bought the business about six and a half years ago. The upstairs tenant, who works for the gas industry,  was not at home at the time of the break-in.

An employee arrived early Wednesday morning,  found broken glass and other damage, and immediately called police.Davissaid it appeared that the alarm wire had been snipped. A sheet of plywood had been screwed to the outside wall, and the window was boarded up on the inside.

Fortunately, the cash in bills had been put away during Tuesday night’s closing, and only about $120 in change was removed from a nearby drawer. The register itself was not taken.

BB’s Country Corral Cafe in Lawton was also burglarized during the same time frame. Steve Anderson, the owner, said that the a door was damaged in the break-in, and between $100-200 was taken.

State Police, Gibson are investigating the string of burglaries, including one that occurred March 19-20 at Robinson’s Store in South Montrose, where cash and cigarettes were taken after someone smashed the front door to gain entry to the building.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call PSP, Gibson at 465-3154.