A crew recovers the backhoe stolen from Water, Gas & Light that was used to smash through the back door of “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ father’s Albany Sporting Goods and Pawn business after 8 p.m. Monday.
ALBANY — Thieves hot-wired a backhoe, drove it a little more than a mile and smashed throuh the back door and wall of “Americal Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ father’s pawn shop.
The Water, Gas & Light Commission backhoe stolen from the corner of Clark Avenue and Maple Street was left behind Albany Sporting Goods and Pawn at 1703 E. Oglethorpe Blvd.
“It happened sometime between 8 p.m. (Monday) and 8 a.m. (Tuesday),” said Phyllis Banks, Albany Police Department spokeswoman. “We think they drove the backhoe here. Someone has to have seen something and they should call us about it.”
Officers fanned out through the neighborhood to interview neighbors, while other investigators looked for nearby surveillance video and made an inventory of stolen property Tuesday.
In a possible diversion or practice run by the thieves, an alarm triggered a police call at the shop at 8:57 p.m. Monday. Officers inspected the building and found nothing out of order, said Les Sherwood, shop manager.
“I saw a guy in here yesterday. He was checking the doors, the exits and I thought it just didn’t seem right. I thought that first alarm was a trial run,” Sherwood said. “They cut the telephone wire, the alarm and the power.”
Phillips, the owner of the pawn shop, and his son were both in Los Angeles, Sherwood said. Entertainment Tonight reported that Phillip Phillips was out of the hospital and resting following an intense surgical procedure to deal with kidney stones that were too large to pass.
Anyone with additional information on the break-in should call investigations at (229) 431-3288 or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS (8477). The Spanish language APD-COP Tip Line is (229) 434-2677.
Crime Stoppers is an anonymous tipline. People with information could become eligible for cash rewards.