The owner of an East Dallas food mart said burglars spent nearly an hour inside his business stealing and destroying the store.
The burglars broke into the Columbia Food Mart in the 5500 block of Columbia Avenue early Thursday morning. They entered a vacant store next door and smashed through a wall to gain entrance into the food mart.
According to the police report, the burglars cut the phone lines so the alarm would not go off.
The burglars stole three handguns and $21,000 in cash and merchandise, including cigarettes, lottery tickets and a safe that was bolted to the floor. They broke into an ATM, knocked over a soda machine and damaged an air conditioner and wiring inside the store. Police estimated the damage at $25,000.
Gherezghiher Araya, the store owner, said he is sure the burglars are professionals who had spent enough time in his store to understand the layout and make a plan.
"You work really hard every day to make ends meet -- a penny here, a penny there, so that's how we make our money," he said. "We work hard -- almost nine, 10-hour every day without a rest, without a day off."
Dallas police said they don't have any strong leads or a decent description of burglars from the surveillance video.