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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Bleach bandit strikes St. James business

  • The suspect or suspects responsible for a burglary last week at Ray’s Tire and Services Center in St. James is still at large, but police are following leads into the unusual case.
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  • The suspect or suspects responsible for a burglary last week at Ray’s Tire and Services Center in St. James is still at large, but police are following leads into the unusual case.
    Owner Randy Ray said he came into his shop Thursday morning to find the building burglarized, with the pungent smell of bleach in the air.
    Soon after, he realized that a large sum of cash had been stolen.
    Entry was made through a back window.
    “They blew the shop window out,” Ray said. “They did cut themselves trying to get in because there were some blood spots. Everywhere they went, they poured some kind of Clorox or Purex to cover it up - bleach basically. They just doused everything. I think it was on account of the blood. I think it was for the DNA thing, to cover it up.”
    Ray said the only thing missing was cash, and it was clear that whoever burglarized the building knew exactly where to look.
    “They did take the broken pieces of large glass with them, but they left the small pieces on the floor. They didn’t take tools or any loose change – just cash.”
    Lt. Ron Jones of the St. James Police Department, who confirmed Ray’s statement, said this is definitely an unusual case.
    “I’ve been a cop for 10 or 12 years, and I have never seen that before,” he said.
    Ray has been open for business for 30 years. He has been burglarized a few times in the past but never to this extent.
    “I don’t know if they brought the bleach or went back and got it after they had already gotten in, but I am sure they got in around 3 when everybody was snoozing,” Ray said.
    As for finding the responsible party or parties, Ray is uncertain as to whether it is even possible.
    “(The police) are trying pretty hard,” he said. “I can’t say they didn’t give 100 percent, but how do you solve something like this 100 percent?”
    Anyone with information is asked to call the St. James Police Department at 573-265-7012.

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