WILKES-BARRE — Someone used a crowbar to smash the front window of Center City Repairs early Tuesday, then proceeded to steal 10 to 12 cell phones worth a few thousand dollars, police say.
Shop owner Chris Piccolotti said the break-in occurred just after 2 a.m., and he was made aware of the burglary by city police after 5 a.m.
Piccolotti said a man could be seen on security video standing outside the electronics repair shop, peering into the window, then smashing the window with a crowbar and stealing the phones.
“It all happened in about 15 seconds,” Piccolotti said.
Total losses, between the window damage and phones, are estimated at $3,000.
Based on the security footage, the suspect was 6 feet tall and wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, and had something covering his face. He was also carrying a backpack and was wearing basketball shoes, perhaps in the style of Air Jordans.
The suspect was also described as having a distinct, almost “penguin-like” walk, according to Piccolotti.
He said this was the first time the 34 S. Main St. store has been burglarized in the years it’s been open.
“But I love downtown, and I’m not going to leave,” Piccolotti said. “Hopefully, he gets caught. I don’t want one guy to ruin downtown’s image.”
Piccolotti said he needed to contact his insurance company to determine how to recoup his losses, but he might need to start a GoFundMe campaign to make repairs and upgrade his security.
Despite the burglary and glass cleanup, the store remained open.
“Challenge accepted,” said Piccolotti, who was determined to bounce back as quickly as possible.