Burglars enter through store's roof, steal thousands

GLENDALE — Police are investigating a brazen burglary Sunday at a grocery store, which burglars entered by cutting a hole in the roof.

The burglary was reported about 7:58 a.m. after Grand Central Market store owner discovered his business on the 1200 block of North Central Avenue had been ransacked and about $5,000 was stolen, according to Glendale Police Department reports.

“It’s cowardly,” store owner Arbi Faroukhians said of the theft, which took place late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Thieves cut a hole into the building’s roof and entered the storage room and bathroom, according to police reports. Police said a hand saw could have been used to cut the hole.

The portion of the roof was peeled back to allow enough room for an average-sized person to slide through and into the store, which was ransacked. Thousands of dollars in cash also was stolen, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

Faroukhians said he noticed debris from the roof was scattered on the floor, and he also found a knife that didn’t belong to him or store employees.

Video surveillance footage showed debris falling from the ceiling, but the burglars were not seen, according to police reports.

Police found two shoe prints on a ladder outside the building that led up to the roof.

Thieves covered the rooftop hole with a swamp cooler, which police said was removed from another business.

Faroukhians said the store had never been burglarized.

So far in June, eight burglaries were reported in Glendale, according to police.

A similar rooftop theft was reported May 21 at the El Torito Restaurant in Burbank, but the robber used a handgun in the theft, when he entered the restaurant about 2 a.m. through an open hatch in the roof, Burbank police said.

The thief forced two restaurant managers into an office and demanded about $4,000 in cash be put into a bag, Burbank police. After stealing the cash, police said he shut the office door and fled the restaurant.

The employees described the thief as slender and about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He wore sunglasses and a black ski mask.

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