Cash Register Thefts: Foolish Criminals Plague San Francisco

Categories: Crime
Criminals' rule of thumb: Take the cash. Leave the register. And, no, this isn't the actual stolen register.
Following a cash register theft on the 100 block of Chenery over the weekend and one at 301 Rolph in mid-October, yesterday's cash register heist in the 4700 block of Mission marks a trend.

A stupid trend.

Captain Louis Cassanego of the Ingleside Police station read a lot into repeated late-night burglaries of cash registers -- when no grocer would leave more than a few bucks in the till overnight. Cash register thefts are "not normal, not at all.

"This is on the level of amateur burglars. There is a very high risk with a very low gain," he said. "Businesspeople just do not leave cash overnight in the till."

Cassanego thinks it's quite probable that all three robberies are connected. In the cash register heist at 100 Chenery, the thief or thieves ended up with $20 for their troubles. Cassanego wouldn't disclose the material loss in yesterday's break-in, but confirmed it was a trifling sum.

At nine minutes to 4 a.m. on Wednesday, witnesses reported three black men entering a liquor store. The thieves used bolt cutters to remove the lock off the security gate, and then punched out the front window. Adding to the appearance of amateur criminality, the trio not only made off with the register and its meager offerings, but some beer.

The thieves fled in a red, mid-1990s model pickup with a white stripe on the side, heading east on Persia just before police arrived on the scene.

The beer may have been among the most valuable portions of yesterday's catch for the burglars.

"The suspects expect they'll be making a big haul. And it just isn't so," said Cassanego. "I think their intel is probably not so good."

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