Authorities believe two robberies in which three masked men broke into stores with sledge hammers in Fort Mill and Rock Hill are connected.
On Monday morning, three men broke into the York Mart on Anderson Road, stealing a safe containing $1,100, according to a Rock Hill police report.
Police responded when the stores alarm went off around 3:45 a.m. The front door was shattered and coin rolls were found on the floor, the report states. Police also noticed fresh drag marks by the front door.
The safe from under the counter was missing.
Surveillance video showed the culprits, who were wearing gloves and masks, drive up in a black SUV. One of the burglars broke the door with a sledge hammer, and then the three worked together to retrieve the safe from under the counter, carry it out of the store and put it in the trunk of the SUV before driving north on South Anderson Road.
The surveillance video was not immediately available for release to the media.
Just 20 minutes earlier, York County Sheriff's deputies went to the Country Store on Gold Hill Road in Fort Mill after learning that three men wearing hoodies, masks and gloves broke into the store with a sledge hammer, according to a report.
Surveillance video showed the men looking in the cash drawers for money and looked like they were searching for a safe under the counter. They left without taking anything.
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072