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Police investigate burglary at Punxy Phil’s Restaurant

October 18, 2011

Late-night Monday or during the early morning hours of Tuesday, someone entered Punxy Phil’s Family Restaurant, Indiana Street, and caused damage once inside. (Photo by Larry McGuire/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — A recent rash of burglaries continued in Punxsutawney when sometime late-night Monday or during the early morning hours Tuesday, someone entered and caused damage inside Punxy Phil’s Family Restaurant, 116 Indiana St.

According to police, unknown actor(s) forcibly entered the restaurant, and once inside, attempted to remove items and caused damage to property.
Punxsutawney Borough Police Chief Tom Fedigan said local residents have several options in attempting to prevent a burglary from happening at their home or business.

He said burglary is a crime of opportunity, so one should “make (potential burglars) work risky and difficult, and you stand a good chance of stopping them before they get in.”

“To a burglar, visibility means vulnerability,” Fedigan said. “They hide behind fences and shrubbery. The key is to keep trespassers out while keeping your property visible, such as a picket or chain link fence.”
Homeowners should also keep hedges clipped down around waist level, he said.

Burglars try the doors and windows first, he said. If they have difficulty there, chances are, they will move on to another property.
Fedigan said the type of locks installed at a business or home can also make a big difference in keeping burglars out.

The strongest are deadbolt locks, with a minimum one-inch throw bolt containing a hardened, saw-resistant steel insert, Fedigan said. A double cylinder deadbolt can also block an exit in an emergency.

Doors that swing out have hinges on the outside, from which a burglar can easily remove the hinge pins and lift away the door, he said. To prevent this, remove the center screw from each side of the hinge and insert a metal pin or headless screw on one side.

Fedigan said overhead doors, receiving doors and garage doors are all typically secured with padlocks and hasps.

Look for sturdy padlocks that don’t release the key until the padlock is closed, Fedigan said, adding that the padlock should be case-hardened with a 3/8-inch shackle to resist repeated smashing.

“Remember, a padlock is only as good as the hasps on which it is mounted, so bolt hasps securely to a metal plate, and make sure the bolts are concealed when the padlock is closed,” he said.

Protect windows by putting grates, grill work, or bars over them, or cover the glass on the inside with a clear polycarbonate sheet, he said. Unbreakable safety glass is also available, but it is more expensive.
The incident at Punxy Phil’s is just one of several cases police have recently investigated:

• Overnight between Oct. 8, and Oct. 9, Neko’s Restaurant & Lounge, Elk Run Avenue, was forcibly entered as an unknown actor(s) removed a cash register containing an undisclosed amount of money and fled the scene undetected.

• Sometime overnight between Oct. 10, and Oct. 11, someone forcibly entered Cookie’s Caboose, North Findley Street, and tried to empty the cash register.

Nothing was removed, but the suspect did cause some damage to property inside the business, police said.

• There were several incidents that occurred last week when suspects removed items — mainly cash, if found — from unsecured vehicles in the East End of town.

• Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police have also investigated similar incidents at Mary’s Place and Union Drilling, both in Bell Township.

Anyone with information about these incidents, or with questions on burglar-proofing ones’s property, should contact Punxsutawney Borough Police at 938-6220 or PSP-Punxsutawney at 938-0510.

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