Public, business owners asked to be on lookout for suspicious activity over holidays
This convenience store on Refuge Road was burglarized by a gang of professional thieves, according to investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.
An experienced gang of burglars broke into a convenience store on Refuge Road in the early morning hours of December 21, marking what investigators believe is the third such burglary in Pickens County by the same group.
Investigators with the Pickens County Sheriff's Office believe the burglary of the closed store, a Chevron with the generic name Food Mart, is the latest in at least 20 similar break-ins attributed to group an investigator referred to as the “All About the Money Gang.”
Detective Chris Webb said the “M.O.” [operating methods] used in this burglary is consistent with burglaries stretching across the region and that it is highly efficient, practiced and hard to stop.
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The sheriff’s office advising local businesses to take several steps to protect themselves, especially during the holidays:
• Make sure cameras and alarm systems are installed and operational. “We strongly encourage alarm systems,” said Det. Chris Webb.
• Don’t keep any more cash than necessary in a business. Make deposits regularly.
The sheriff’s office is also asking the public to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. With the group that hit the Refuge Road store it is believed they did not park in front of the store, but rather had a vehicle cruising the area then coming back to pick up the burglars. Detectives note there is not much traffic in Pickens County late at night so any vehicle that circling an area should be considered suspicious.
• Keep an eye out for anyone standing around a commercial business or residence.
• This group has been known to bust out sections of rear block walls to enter some stores and busts glass doors, so if anyone hears anything they are ask to call 911 immediately.