LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Police are investigating the break-in of a local vape shop that happened early Monday morning. The thieves got away with plenty of merchandise and left some damage behind.
The front door at Puff’s Cafe and Lounge located on Belmont Avenue in Liberty was being repaired Monday morning.
“I rushed out, got out of bed, showed up here. The whole door was broken. Products was lying all around but luckily there was two Liberty cops,” said co-owner Dominic Cooper.
Cooper received a call early Monday morning that his store had been broken into. According to police, an alarm went off around 3:15 a.m.
“They look like they’re young kids, could be high schoolers or so, but they broke in with ski masks and they threw a rock at the door and then they broke in. It was about 50 seconds, that’s all they needed. Filled up two backpacks and ran off,” Cooper said.
Security camera footage shows the two suspects outside of the business moments before throwing a large rock through the door. When officers arrived, the front door was shattered and there was glass on the ground.
Cooper says the suspects took around $1,000 worth of merchandise. However, the cash register was untouched. A police report states that multiple empty vape containers were found on the shelves.
Police searched the business but did not find anyone on the property.
“You know, it’s a shame. We’re local entrepreneurs. We’re young. We’re trying to be a part of the community and do fun things but having local people come in and vandalize doesn’t help. Definitely a little setback,” Cooper said.
While the owners already have security measures in place, they say they’re going to add even more to prevent a situation like this from happening again.
Cooper: “All Secure on the West Side is helping us with metal bars, so we shouldn’t run into this issue again.”
Reporter Megan Lee: “But did you want to put metal bars on your door?”
Cooper: “You know, I didn’t, but I’m worried this could happen again. So we’re going to try to prevent that.”
Cooper is grateful for Liberty Township police.
“They handled everything very smooth. They responded very fast here, within 3 minutes. So I was very happy with them. They stayed and made sure we were safe,” Cooper said.
Police are urging anyone with information to contact the department. The tip line is 330-539-9830.
Noelle Haynes and Chelsea Simeon contributed to this report.