Thief strikes thrice for Xboxes at used bookstore

by Amy Kingsley

When Randy Martin got a 4 a.m. call from ADT Security Services on Nov. 4, he slid on his shoes, got in his car and took a short trip down to Edward McKay’s, the used book store he manages.

‘“I thought a book must have fallen off the shelf,’” he said. ‘“The first time I drove up here I was sure that I was wasting my time.’”

What he saw was shattered glass and a caved-in pair of steel doors, their frame twisted free of the outer brick wall. He immediately put his car in reverse, called the police and company vice-president Emily Nance.

‘“It was really shocking the first time,’” Martin said. ‘“I had never heard of a robbery ever happening here.’”

Less than two months later, similar scenes don’t cause so much as a ripple among the employees here. Since the Nov. 4 break-in, Edward McKay’s has been struck twice, on Nov. 28 and Dec. 28. Both subsequent incidents occurred between 3:30 and 4 in the morning.

In each case, a vehicle crashed through the doors and the perpetrator ran in to grab video game consoles. So far, they have made off with three Microsoft Xboxes, a Nintendo Game Cube and a Sony PlayStation 2.

Manager Carmen Biggers estimated merchandise losses of between $365 and $400. The cost of building damage might be as high as $4,000. The thieves have never tried to grab cash from the registers, instead limiting their exploits to one to two minute runs for the game consoles.

Each time the perpetrator has kept his back to the security camera and his head down, obscuring his facial features. All they know is that he is black and might be 25 to 35-years-old. It could be one person or more, and the second time it looked like he had a white accomplice.

Despite the problems, the store managers have no intention of discontinuing sales of used gaming consoles. They sold out before Christmas; the latest thief got away with the first couple that came in after the holiday rush.

The owner of the building had just replaced a flimsy temporary door with a spanking new steel pair when Martin got his third call last week. This time he was out of town.

‘“When I came in my first words were ‘tell me we didn’t get broken into again,’” Martin said. ‘“But its not even news to us anymore.’”

So now customers once again have to watch their step over a threshold plugged with chipboard and a narrow entry door. For the employees, it’s business as usual.

‘“It boggles the mind that someone would do so much damage for so little property,’” Martin said.

– Amy Kingsley