Burglar says he ‘raided piggy bank’ to buy smokes | TheUnion.com

Burglar says he ‘raided piggy bank’ to buy smokes

A Grass Valley man was arrested on two counts of burglary after allegedly breaking into a business and stealing rolls of coins, then buying cigarettes with the money at the neighboring gasoline station.

Vincent Montana Rider, 20, was booked into Nevada County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

It started when Grass Valley Police officers were called to Energy Logs in the 100 block of Hughes Road for a burglary that took place the night of March 2, said Capt. Rex Marks.

Kathy Thomas, who runs the business with her husband, said she found the door to the front kiosk jimmied open that morning, and a screwdriver was left laying on the counter.

While Thomas usually takes all the cash out of the cash box every night, the burglar did make off with an undetermined amount of loose coins and a few rolls of coins, she said.

The burglar struck again sometime between March 6 and March 8, and this time the suspect was caught on tape.

In the second incident, the suspect apparently entered the building through a bathroom window, which opens into a padlocked room, Thomas said. He then broke into the front kiosk for the second time and stole a small amount of coins left in the cash box.

“I don’t think he got more than $50 total” from both robberies, Thomas said.

The suspect was caught on videotape, by a surveillance camera mounted on the neighboring gas station, leaving the gated Energy Logs lot and entering the gas station, she said.

There, the suspected burglar bought cigarettes with the coins he had just stolen, telling the cashier he had raided his piggy bank, Thomas said.

The store surveillance video was examined and the man was identified by Grass Valley Police officers.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

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