Two years of road construction have taken a toll along East Main Street/Route 64 on St. Charles’ East Side, but with an end now in sight to that hit on retailers, several businesses have taken another hit — via a string of rooftop break-ins.
St. Charles police on Wednesday morning, Sept. 18, 2013 had their hands full taking burglary reports, conducting investigations and processing crime scenes for evidence amid three reports of burglaries to businesses at Foxfield Commons shopping center, 2700 E. Main St.
One report stated said whoever broke into Subway, 2708 E. Main St., had to have been of small stature — the hole in the ceiling used to enter had a circumference of only about 14 inches.
Why so small? That’s apparently the size of a vent pipe to a rooftop exhaust fan, which were both removed to get inside the Subway shop, according to reports.
An inspection of the roof by investigators showed at least two other exhaust fans had been removed as well above two other businesses — De Geo’s Burgers and Gyros, 2704 E. Main St., and Foxfield Cleaners, 2778 E. Main St., the other two break-in victims.
All three businesses faced some cleanup and repair work that morning, but only one suffered a loss of an unspecified sum of cash, according to a police report. That was Foxfield Cleaners.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what police found:
Foxfield Cleaners, 2778 E. Main St.: Employees arrived to find that paper currency had been removed from both cash registers. Nothing else appeared missing. Police learned someone had shut off the power to the surveillance cameras, which ceased working about 11 p.m. The business had been closed and locked up about 5 p.m. Tuesday. Officers initially were unable to determine how entry was made but returned later a second business reported a break in by removal of a rooftop exhaust fan.
De Geo’s Burgers and Gyros, 2704 E. Main St.: Owner received a call from his alarm company at 1:09 a.m. that an inside sensor at the business had been activated. He met police at the building a short time later. They went inside only to find a lone grease smudge on a freezer. They locked up and left. In the morning when he returned, however, the owner found more signs of a disturbance and eventually discovered the rooftop exhaust fan had been removed, leaving a hole in the ceiling.
Subway, 2708 E. Main St.: Several broken wall shelves, some broken ceiling tiles and an open hole in the ceiling, apparently made by removing an exhaust pipe from the building’s roof. The business had closed at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
The St. Charles Fire Department assisted investigators when they headed to the shopping center’s rooftop as part of their investigation.