Thieves Use Sledgehammer To Break Into Westerville-Area Store

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Police were investigating Friday morning after someone broke a hole in a wall of a business.

Authorities said that someone broke into one business, located in the 1400 block of Sunbury Road, through a door. Once inside the first business, they used a sledgehammer to demolish their way into the next store.

Tammy Alsaada said that when she and her husband opened the Sunbury Market last December, it was the first time neighbors had access to basic needs like milk and bread in their northeast Columbus neighborhood.

"It's just sad that it appears to be young people that don't have a respect for people's businesses, and people's property," Alssada said.

Alsaada said that crooks got away with thousands of dollars in cash, cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Columbus Police believed the thieves may have been teenagers or young adults, and small enough to be able to make their way through the hole they smashed into the wall.

"You've done a lot more than a couple cartons of cigarettes," Alsaada said. "You've ruined small businesses. You've ruined the sense of security and safety in the neighborhood."

It was not clear if anything was taken from the stores. The cost of damage was not immediately known.

Police were reviewing surveillance video to try to identify the crooks.

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