Video: Burglar enters through roof of Mobil gas station, police hope to identify suspect

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We’re getting a closer look at the man accused of breaking into a Rockford gas station through its roof and stealing an empty cash register.

Around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, security cameras at the Mobil gas station at 360 College Avenue caught the suspect in the act. Now, police are asking the public’s help in identifying him.

“I was really shocked, I mean, to see something like that,” said Rami Fakhouri, owner.

Fakhouri says the burglar reached through the slats of the boiler room door and unlocked it from the outside. But, he was unable to access the store from there.

“[Police] found out he went through the duct work into the attic, and he jumped from the ceiling, inside the store,” Fakhouri said. “When I came in, I thought this was a regular burglary, to tell you the truth, the first time when I was in here. But, when I came in… I mean, this is something you see in the movies.”

Rockford Police Sergeant David Cone says this type of burglary doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s because security is tight for other entry into the business.

“A lot of times, these will happen when glass doors and windows and other points of entry could be barred, or somehow sealed, to the point where it becomes problematic [for the robber] to make entry in that manner,” he said.

Sgt. Cone says more businesses are using technology to beef up security.

“They’re installing video surveillance systems. They are alarming their businesses. So, all of these things go hand in hand with assisting us, getting to a potential burglary in progress while the burglar is still there, physically on scene,” he said.

Fakhouri says the thief caused about $1,000 in damages and got away with an empty cash register.

To prevent future burglaries, he’s adding reinforced doors and more surveillance cameras.

“Don’t come back here,” he warns. “I tell you the truth, because we will catch you. Police will get you.”

Sgt. Cone said, “We’re always hopeful that, when we get surveillance video of this type, that there’s somebody out there that’s going to recognize…images of this individual.”

If know or recognize the man in the video, police ask that you call 815-966-2900 or Rockford Area CrimeStoppers at 815-963-7867.

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