A burglar made off with several hundred dollars worth of products early Monday morning after breaking into a Beatrice gas station convenience store.
The Beatrice Police Department responded at about 6 a.m. on Monday after someone broke the lock off the front door of Nick’s Shell station at 900 Court St., and got away with a bag full of cigarettes, snacks and drinks while the store was closed.
Owner Nick Neukirch said that the burglar forced the front lock open after being unable to pry open the side window next to the register. When the burglar turned around, however, outdoor cameras were able to get a good shot of his face before he pulled the strings on his hood tighter and headed to the front door.
Neukirch said that whoever broke in seemed to have a shopping list of sorts as they stole cartons of cigarettes as well as several individual packs of different brands.
“He got some cigarettes, then he whirled around there and got some food, snacks,” Neukirch said. “Then he went back to the cooler and we got him back there and he's looking for something. He opened one cooler door, didn't see what he wanted, so he closed it and went to another one.”
From the video, he said, it appeared that there was a second person outside acting as a lookout who could let the burglar know if cars were passing by.
Neukirch said the man got away with somewhere between $300 and $400 worth of merchandise, but wasn’t sure of an exact amount.
While police haven’t announced any suspects as of Tuesday afternoon, Neukirch said he thought they had a good idea of who it might be.
Neukirch said he’s offering a $50 gas card as a reward for anyone who can identify the suspect.
He said he was surprised that someone would try to break in, due to the store keeping the lights on and the cameras running during the night. It’s been awhile since they’ve had any break ins, Neukirch said, though he may have hexed himself about a month ago when he mentioned they hadn’t had one for a long time.
“Knock on wood, we haven't had a problem in quite a while,” he said. “The cameras really help. Luckily, it doesn't happen very much anymore.”