South Burlington Police Chief: “We clearly have a commercial burglary string going on right now”

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In South Burlington, police are looking for two men who broke into a grocery store and escaped with the safe, leaving staff to clean up the mess. 

The Burglary happened Wednesday at 2 a.m. Security footage shows the men pacing the aisle and rummaging through shelves at The Mill Market and Deli, a small shop for groceries, wine, baked goods, and Creemees out back.

“They had looked around the store and gone right for the safe and grabbed the safe and were in and out in less than six minutes,” said store owner & chef Jim McCarthy.

He says the men kicked and cracked the glass before breaking into the store.

“They tried all three panes before until they got one that was a little bit looser. They kicked the entire pane out, so it ripped off the frame of part of the door,” said McCarthy.

His chef was the first to noticed the damage Wednesday morning: shatter glass, stained floors, and a missing safe, which held two days worth of cash and tips.

“It wasn’t a personal attack, but it feels personal because we are so small. We all care a lot about this place…and it just stinks a lot that someone targeted us,” said store manager Micayla Bell. 

South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke says there have been similar burglaries in the area.

“We clearly have a commercial burglary string going on right now. You know, they’re targeting these places for cash,” said Chief Burke.

Aviation Deli, just 10 minutes away, was also broken into this week. They’re manager and owner were not available to comment. Burke says it’s still unclear whether the shop was targeted by the same men. 

“Obviously through good ambient video and other technology, we’re able to kind of narrow the field of the investigation,” said Chief Burke.

Store manager Micayla Bell says she and her colleagues are trying to remain positive.

“It was really shocking, you never expect something like that to happen in a small, tight-knit community, or like this small of a store in general. It was a little scary, like even know I’m just a little worried to be here by myself, which stinks because I spend more time here than I do at home at this point. This is my second home,” said Bell.

McCarthy says repairs began immediately and they’re focusing on moving from Wednesdays disheartening events.

“We’re not going to dwell too long, it’s kind of backwards thinking. I’m more interested in looking forward and moving on and worrying about all the events we have going on this weekend.”

On Sunday, from 3 – 7 p.m. The Mill Market & Deli will have their first barbeque of the year to support the non-profit, dog rescue “Passion 4 Paws.” 

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