Piggly Wiggly broken into; nothing taken

Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 3, 2008

NATCHEZ — Surveillance video from a break-in at Piggly Wiggly early in December has not helped authorities locate the perpetrators.

The Seargent S. Prentiss Drive grocery store was broken into on Dec. 12, and two males were caught on tape.

The men allegedly cut the phone lines on the side of the building before jimmying the door and breaking the window, said Barry Loy, retail operations manager for the Markets and Piggly Wiggly.

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Inside, the men stood in front of the United Mississippi Bank ATM machine for approximately an hour trying to break-in.

Their attempts failed and they walked away with nothing, Loy said.

“You can sit there and watch for an hour on surveillance,” Loy said. “They had gloves and masks. It’s like a professional job.”

Police Chief Mike Mullins said the incident was reported to them at 6 a.m. on Dec. 12 when a store employee arrived.

Loy said UMB replaced the ATM, and he’s working to get his window replaced.

The store — previously the only Natchez-area Market without a cellular phone alarm system backup — now has a better security system.

At the time of the break-in, the landline phones were the only ones connected to the security system. After the perpetrators cut approximately an inch-long section out of the lines, the security system failed.

“It was someone who knew what they were doing,” Loy said. “They weren’t amateurs off the street.”

Though their actions look professional, Mullins said they may not necessarily be.

“It’s very common for an amateur to try to get into an ATM,” he said. “We’ve rarely had that happen here, but it doesn’t mean they knew what they were doing.”