String of break-ins at Columbia business leaves owners vigilant

String of break-ins at Columbia business leaves owners vigilant

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Columbia Police say they are investigating a string of break-ins, as well as a possible break-in at businesses in the Cottontown and the Main Street area in the capital city.

Police say they have arrested 32-year-old Samuel Berry and charged him with malicious injury to real property. They say he threw a rock at a glass door of Indah Coffee last Thursday but didn't get inside.

Samuel Berry (Source: CPD)
Samuel Berry (Source: CPD)

Police say they are working to figure out if he’s connected to other break-ins in the Cottontown area.

On May 21st, Berry was served arrest warrents by CPD in connection with an incident that took place at Citta del Cotone on May 11th. He facing second degree larceny and burglary charges for the crime.

Tommy Price with the restaurant Città del Cotone, sent us video showing the night-time break-in.

Break-in surveillance Citta del Cotone (Source Tommy Price)
Break-in surveillance Citta del Cotone (Source Tommy Price)

“For it to happen back to back, that concerns me a little bit. Had a rock thrown through our window. The suspect entered, grabbed one of our tablets and grabbed the cash drawer,” Price said.

Price adds the person ran off, and into Brad Bolling, who lives behind the pizza shop.

“I approached him, told him ‘that he needed to leave, I was going to call the police,’ and he began to back up. He backed up down the driveway, and I continued to follow him and I started to dial 911immediately. I followed him all the way to the corner of Elmwood to where he actually tossed the cash till,” Bolling said. Bolling says that person then left the area.

Property Crimes investigators continue to determine whether Berry is the same suspect in the 2431 North Main Street incident and the second incident at Citta del Cotone.

“This area generally isn’t known for this and so, it’s woken everybody up,” Price said.

Price also wants to bring awareness to the break-ins and wants business owners and residents to be vigilant. Bolling’s message: lock your doors, keep the lights on, and keep the surveillance cameras rolling.

Police say they are working strong leads in the case.

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