Explosives Used in Scranton Scrap Yard Burglary, $30,000 Taken

SCRANTON -- Tens of thousands of dollars was stolen overnight from an area scrap metal business and this isn't the first time.

The burglary apparently happened overnight at Ben Weitsman, along North Keyser Avenue in Scranton, and it's not the first time the business has been hit.

There's a lot of damage to the building and an ATM, and a large amount of money was taken – about $30,000.

Employees at Ben Weitsman of Scranton on North Keyser Avenue came to work to find a hole in the side of their office building. They would find that there was a lot more missing than just part of the wall.

"Other than the side of our building has a giant hole in it, we have a cash dispenser on the first floor and a safe of the second floor and they did gain entry to both of those pieces of equipment," said employee Kevin Neet.

The wires leading to the building's alarm system were cut. Neet says they still should have been alerted but never were. The burglars are seen on surveillance video working for about four hours inside the building.

Police say the burglars used an angle grinder to cut open the side of a cash machine, take out the drawers, and empty them of all of the money.

Then they moved upstairs breaking into a safe for more cash. Employees think an explosive device was used.

"This is somebody who is very familiar with the building, where the alarm system was, where the motion detectors are, and where the money's located," said Neet.

Early tallies show $32,000 in cash was missing.

"Very frustrating to see this happen again, this is the third time in, I think, the last four years, so we have some things to look at with our security company," said Neet.

The scrap yard stayed closed until the afternoon while employees cleaned up the mess. Customers were shocked to hear what the hold up was.

"Oh, my gosh, that is terrible," said Bobbie Wheary of Scranton. "I just think this town really needs to do some more, you know, about drug addiction. It's just a terrible thing. I feel like it's all related to drugs."

"It's still disheartening that somebody robbed the place," said Edward Beidenkapp of Forest City. "It would be nice if everybody could just pull their own weight and, you know, just try to earn a decent living, you know, would be nice."

The Ben Weitsman Company is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the suspect.

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