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Safe stolen in building center burglary

GREENFIELD — A local home improvement store was broken into, and its safe stolen in an overnight burglary.

Leader Home Center on Bernardston Road has been added to the list of businesses broken into within the past year. The burglary, however, appeared to be more sophisticated than the usual smash-and-grab.

The power to the building had been intentionally cut before the robbery, said Sgt. Mark Williams. Also, no merchandise had been taken, and the cash registers were not tampered with, according to store manager Jeff Kratz.

“Employees came in to open the store Tuesday morning, and found that the building had been entered and found things disheveled inside, with items strewn about,” said Sgt. Mark Williams.

A security camera in the storefront was not operational during the burglary, said Kratz. The business does not have an alarm.

“We’re thinking about getting (an alarm),” said Kratz. “Times are changing.”

Kratz said the safe was not overly large, but he expects it would take two people to move.

“Luckily, we had gone to the bank Monday and deposited the cash we had taken in over the weekend,” said Kratz. All that remained in the safe, he said, was the cash brought in after Monday’s deposit. He was unsure exactly how much it amounted to.

Williams said an office window was found open when Kratz and an employee came to work around 7 a.m. Tuesday. The manager said none of the doors showed any evidence of tampering, leading him to believe that the window was the thieves’ point of entry.

Wednesday afternoon, that window had been fortified and sealed shut with two-by-fours. Though a fence surrounds most of the property, said Kratz, it is there mostly to keep vehicles out of the lumber yard, and wouldn’t do much to stop a person intent on breaking in.

Further information was unavailable from police Wednesday. Williams said the matter remains under investigation by the detective bureau.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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