Safe stolen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008

By John Howell Sr.

Somewhere there’s a safe.

By now it’s probably not in the good condition that owner Ricky Swindle last saw it.

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Police on Monday reported no new developments in a July 13 burglary at Batesville Tire Mart. Sometime — presumably between Ricky Swindle’s departure from the store at the intersection of Highway 6 and Eureka Street, about 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, and the arrival of his brother, Mike Swindle, to open the store at 6:40  a.m. Monday, July 14 — burglars visited.

They got in by forcing a window unit air conditioner on the south side of the building. The burglars pushed it where it fell to the floor inside the office and climbed in behind it. Once inside, the burglars dragged the safe to the east bay area and through the garage door which faces Highway 6, according to the Batesville Police Department incidence report. They apparently loaded the safe into a vehicle within sight of whatever sparse traffic traveled through the Highway 6 and Eureka Street intersection early that morning.

The gray Sentry safe measured about two by two by two feet. Mike Swindle said that the safe weighed between 200 and 250 pounds. Inside was a small amount of cash — less than $300, Ricky Swindle said —  and a bank bag with deposit slips from Panola Masonic Lodge 66, according to the police report.

Ricky Swindle was also the victim of a recent theft at his Oakwood Acres home when thieves stole his riding lawn mower. He has generously publicized a reward for the “crackhead” who stole his lawnmower on his popular outdoor sign as well as his Local Yokels Saturday morning radio program on WBLE.

This time, a crackhead is less suspect than someone who knew about the safe and assumed that he kept a large sum inside, he said, laughing at the work that was required of the burglars to get inside the small safe only to learn of the small recompense for their night’s work.

And somewhere there’s a safe considerably worse for the wear of their attempt.