GASTONIA, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - At least two small businesses in a Gastonia neighborhood are out thousands of dollars after a series of break-ins.
The break-ins happened sometime overnight Monday into Tuesday along Union Road.
In both cases cash was stolen and the suspects made entry by breaking the front door windows with a large rock or brick.
"I hope they go look for a job because there are jobs available," said Nishant Patel, who owns one of the businesses that was targeted.
Patel along with another business owner just around the block were working extra hard Tuesday morning cleaning up.
Someone ransacked their businesses overnight Monday. The owner of Arline's Grill told FOX 46 Charlotte the door was smashed and the crooks made away with the cash drawer and safe.
Just a block away and around the corner at Riyas Ice Cream it was a similar scene.
"We never had any issues, we never had any problem. This is the first time that happened," said Patel.
Patel and his brother worked throughout Tuesday to replace their front door. Someone took a brick from a nearby retaining wall and smashed it through the glass. The brick thrown so hard it put a hole in the wall.
That hole may be the least of their concerns. The suspects stole cash from the register, the tip jar and even equipment used to make milkshakes.
"It's just something I would never thought someone would break into like a novelty store or a candy store like a ice cream place. I never thought that would be possible," said Patel.
Patel didn't let the criminals hurt his bottomline even further. He stayed open all day Tuesday, just hours after he fell victim to the break-in.
Gastonia Police tell FOX 46 Charlotte it is too early in the investigation to tell if the two cases are connected.
Anyone who may have seen something suspicious along Union Road are asked to call police.