COTTONDALE, Fla. (WMBB) — A local cafe in Cottondale was burglarized and vandalized and police are searching for suspects, but they need your help.
On Wednesday morning owners of Aunt Jo’s Cafe arrived to find their restaurant door beaten down and the inside vandalized.
“This is the first time in the while something like this has occurred we had some graffiti painted around town that kind of stuff but nothing with criminal mischief involved like this,” Cottondale Police Chief William Watford said.
The restaurant has been closed for the last year, but everything they owned was still being stored in the building.
“Someone punched a hole in the rear door and was able to reach in and open the door and then as they were inside they committed criminal mischief they destroyed items, they took fire extinguishers and sprayed them all over the place, broke dishes and then stole some items while they were in there,” Watford said.
Chief Watford said they found broken glass, and a smashed tv inside the restaurant and someone had rummaged through all of the owner’s boxes.
Chief Watford believes teenagers may have committed the crime, but there’s no way to know for sure since the security cameras had been ripped out and stolen.
“Stuff they had acquired over the years and now it’s possibly gone. She’s gotta go in and do an inventory to see what missing and they were fixing to try and relocate to another business area so this hurts them quite a bit,” Watford said.
If they find the person or persons responsible, they will be charged with criminal mischief and burglary which are both felonies.
Chief Watford said if you have a tip or saw anything suspicious, call the Cottondale Police Department at 850-352-4361 or the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 850-482-9624.