LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – A man was arrested after police say he tried to break into a safe with a fire extinguisher at a Leavittsburg gas station.
It happened at the Duchess gas station on State Route 5, on August 14.
Police were called by a newspaper delivery worker around midnight. The worker told police that the door had a sign on it saying the gas station was closed, but the door was wide open.
When officers got there, the delivery worker told them, “Be easy on him he is only 19 and has only worked here about two months.” The report states she was talking about the 19-year-old employee.
When police went inside, they found the employee and saw several ripped prepaid debit cards on the counter. They also noticed a white powdery substance all over him.
According to reports, the employee told police he received a call on the gas station’s landline phone and was told the business was short $25,000. He said he was told he needed to use prepaid debit cards and money from the safe to pay it.
When asked why he had the white powdery substance on him, he said he couldn’t get the safe open so he tried using the fire extinguisher to break it open, but it exploded. Reports state police found the white substance all over the floor behind the counter as well. Police also found a broken window, which he later told police he broke because he got locked out at one point and had to get back in.
According to the report, the delivery worker told police that before they arrived, the employee told her he thought he had been scammed and that since she called the police he feared he would end up getting fired and arrested.
Police were able to watch surveillance footage where they can see the employee on his cell phone, walking throughout the store searching draws and the office for keys to the safe. The report states he is also seen trying to add money to the debit cards and taking money from cash registers.
After watching the video, police say they spoke with the employee and he told them he received multiple calls and texts on both the landline and his cell phone from someone claiming to be the president of the company telling him to take the money and stash it. He told police all of the money from the register was in a green hoodie near the safe.
Police found the hoodie with the money in it. The employee was unsuccessful in loading the prepaid cards.
Due to the damage in the store and to the safe, the employee was charged with an attempt to commit theft and was arrested for safecracking. He was released from jail with no bond and ordered to not have contact with the Duchess gas station. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.