HOPE, Ind. (WISH) — Detectives are looking for a team of burglars after they broke into a dollar store in Hope and unsuccessfully tried to steal a safe two mornings in a row. Both break-ins were captured by surveillance cameras but the suspects covered their faces during the crimes.
The video shows two men with a rope and sledge hammer rush into a Dollar General early Sunday morning. The men tied a rope to the store’s safe and police suspect they tied the other end to a vehicle outside.
The plan was to hit the gas and yank the safe away. After that plan didn’t work, they tried and failed to beat the safe loose with a sledge hammer before the two took off.
A reserve officer volunteered to watch the store overnight just in case the burglars returned, according to Town Marshall Matthew Tallent.
“We were all shocked that they actually came back,” Tallent said. “It was just a precaution.”
Monday morning, three burglars ran into the store but quickly realized they were not alone.
The officer, who had been watching from a nearby parking lot, called for backup and blocked the Dollar General’s parking lot exit.
But Tallent said the men drove a truck over a ditch and took off down a country road.
“It was a very good plan to have someone out Sunday night to catch them in the act,” Tallent said. “I just wish we could have caught the suspects.”
The officer chased the truck for more than two miles before two of the men hopped out and ran through a farmer’s field.
Tallent said the driver kept going and the officer ran after the men on foot until he lost sight of them.
Two canines could not find the suspects but police did find two pairs of sweatpants with a cellphone in one of the pockets. Officers said Tuesday they were securing a warrant to search the phone.
Police are also enhancing dash cam video of the suspect vehicle in hopes of finding the plate number. The truck, Tallent said, is an older model Chevy Silverado.
Investigators are checking a rope and dolly left at the scene for fingerprints.
The burglars did not get away with anything, according to police.
Tallent said he is confident the same men were involved in both crimes, in part because security video from both mornings shows a suspect with the same Everlast sweatshirt.
Anyone with information on the case can call Hope Police at 812-546-4015.