Rooftop burglars stole $50,000 worth of cellphones, store owner says

Burglars cut hole in roof, rappelled into store, police say

SAN ANTONIO – The manager of a Northeast Side cellphone store said the business lost about $50,000 in merchandise  early Friday morning to burglars who found an unusual way to get inside the store.

San Antonio police responded shortly before 5:30 a.m. to the Verizon Wireless store on Nacogdoches Road near O'Connor Road.  

Officers said they noticed a hole in the roof and a few ropes inside the store.

Police believe someone used the ropes to rappel into the business after boring a hole through the roof.

According to store owner Raheel Ali, the crooks found a way to cut through metal and cinder block.

"I was just, kind of, speechless, and the thought process was just going through my mind. I was, 'OK, I wonder what happened, how they did it?'" Ali said.

An early-morning phone call got Ali out of bed before sunrise. Ali said he raced over to the store and found what looked like a scene out of the movie "Mission: Impossible."

The burglars lowered themselves down into the store with ropes.
"We've got security surveillance and all that good stuff inside the store," Ali said. "It just, kind of, looked like it was a professional job."

This type of burglary, although unusual, is not unheard of by SAPD. In April, they investigated a similar crime on the Northwest Side.

Officers at the scene told KSAT 12 News that two masked men, dressed in black, crashed down from the ceiling inside Speedy Cash.

The men had guns and robbed workers of cash at the business in the 1700 of Babcock Road.

The workers were counting cash at the time, preparing to open for the day, when the robbery occurred.

No one was inside Ali's business when the criminals broke in Friday.

However, Ali said he and other workers would be there for quite some time cleaning up the mess that was left behind.

"There's people out there like this. They don't have anything better to do except to make other people's live more miserable," He said.

Ali said he expects to be able to replace all of the merchandise had lost.

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