Police: Sledge-hammer-wielding man steals safe

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DACULA, Ga. - A man wielding a sledge hammer broke into businesses at a Dacula shopping center, according to Gwinnett County police.

It happened in the predawn hours Wednesday. Channel 2’s Sophia Choi found managers of Little Caesars pizza and Monkey Joe’s on Auburn Road cleaning up glass later in the day.

“It was around three o'clock last night. I guess they hit the window with a sledge hammer, and he crawled in,” restaurant manager Roland Walker said.

Surveillance video showed someone meddling with a safe under a counter at Little Caesars. The man was masked, but Walker described his attire.

"He's wearing khaki shorts and a blue shirt.  He has a bandana over the top of his head," Walker said.

When the burglar was unable to get the safe open, he returned with a sledge hammer and used it to turn the cameras around and pound away at the safe.

When that didn’t work, the burglar went to Monkey Joe’s next door, police said. They said an off-duty Barrow County officer spotted him wheeling away a safe in a chair and followed him.

Police believe the burglar went into a wooded area near Bailey Woods Road. They said a man came out of the woods and ran.

Choi spotted officers and search dogs walking in the area. Police said they interviewed a man matching the burglar’s description at a nearby subdivision, but there’s no word of any arrests.