McCOOK, Nebraska -- Several McCook businesses were burglarized the evening before and early morning hours of Christmas Eve, with thieves taking a 2,500 pound safe from one business, $10,000 in cash from another and a 2011 dark blue Chevy Impala from a local auto dealership. Also during that time frame a local liquor store captured video footage of two men that burglarized their location and estimated one of them to be of below average height, approximately 5 foot 3 inches tall.
The Bottle Shop on East B Street was broken into at approximately 3 a.m. by two men wearing hoodies. That incident was caught on video by security cameras, which showed the men in the retail liquor store for approximately four minutes. The thieves made off with a little more than $50 in rolled quarters, no merchandise was taken.
Based on the video footage, Bottle Shop management estimated one of the men to be approximately 5 foot three inches tall.
A nearby auto repair shop, Rowe's Repair on East B Street, was also burglarized. According to representatives at the business thieves pried open their front door and took approximately $10,000 in cash from their safe.
The safe showed no signs of forced entry and it is believed the thieves may have been able to figure out the keypad code based on smudging left on the digits.
According to representatives at D&S Hardware multiple doors were damaged during their break-in and the thieves used the business's forklift to load and make off with their safe.
After breaking open the business's back garage door and loading the safe into their vehicle, the thieves put the forklift in reverse and allowed it to crash into a locker where fuel cans were stored. The forklift was discovered running amidst the scattered cans and atop a sizable fuel spill the following morning.
Management representatives at the hardware store said they were relieved a fire didn't result and add to the already extensive repair bill the burglary had created.
The safe is reported to have been recovered outside of city limits, north of McCook on West Third Street, but that information has yet to be confirmed by investigators.
The dark blue Impala was stolen from McCorkle Motors some time after 10 p.m. that evening, which is located just a block south of D&S Hardware. According to management at the used car dealership, a scheduled transport dropped two vehicles at their lot, the 4-door Impala and an SUV.
The delivery was confirmed at approximately 10:30 p.m. but by the following morning the Impala was missing.
The vehicle has an approximate value of $15,000 and as of Monday morning was still missing. McCorkle Motors is offering a reward for information that leads to the recovery of the vehicle.
The new McDonald's restaurant was also among the list of businesses that a break-in was at least attempted at during the evening. Burglars attempted to enter through a window at the restaurant and broke the outside glass of a window. They were unable to penetrate the interior portion of the security glass however.
As of Monday morning the McCook Police Department has not made any information available pertaining to the crimes.
Anyone with information about this, or any crime, may call the McCook Area Crimestoppers at 308-345-5440, or the McCook Police Department at 308-345-3450. If the information leads to the arrest of a suspect, the caller will be eleigible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 and can ramain anonymous.