FRANKLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A group of masked men armed with baseball bats were caught on camera breaking into a hardware store in Franklinton.
“I was more perturbed than anything because of the damage and 4 o’clock in the morning,” said Shane Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell Do It Best Hardware, which also stocks sporting goods, including firearms.
Mitchell opened the store 13 years ago and he says nothing like this has ever happened before.
“The honest working man works hard to build a business and somebody that tries to get something for nothing — I think that makes a lot of your population feel, the ones that try hard,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says early August 11 the three thieves went straight for the guns, but the thing is, Mitchell doesn’t keep the guns in the same place when the store is closed.
“It’s my assumption from the way they acted when they came through the door that they had been here before casing the place out during business hours,” Mitchell said.
Once the crooks realized the guns weren’t there and the alarm started going off, they ran off empty-handed.
A police officer happened to be nearby and got the call. The officer saw a white Kia Seoul pulling away from the business so she started chasing the car down U.S. Highway 1 South.
The officer tried to stop the car, but the crooks kept going, leading officers on a chase that reached speeds of 130 mph.
Youngsville Police, Wake Forest Police, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase. Police lost the car in downtown Raleigh.
“We tend to look a little bit more at the customers coming in, you know, are they actually shopping or looking around,” explained Mitchell. “I guess it puts that thought in the back of your head, are they casing you out?”
It cost Mitchell $700 to replace his glass door and police still have not caught the thieves.
The Franklinton police chief says Raleigh Police responded to a shots-fired call that led them on a chase with a white Kia Seoul later that same day.
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