Union County Sheriff's Office searching for 3 robbery suspects

The Union County Sheriff’s Office says they’re searching for three suspects who broke into several stores early Friday morning.

Surveillance video from Papa Murphy’s Pizza in Indian Trail shows one of the intruders jumping over the counter and trying to pry open the safe.

"They threw a brick through the window, ran around the counter. All of our drawers were open and empty as they always are. They attempted to remove a safe that's bolted down, and left with their tail between their legs," said Mike Pilotte, one of the owners of Papa Murphy’s off Highway 74.

Mike had just gotten home from the coast. He was going to spend the day with his wife Ashleigh and son Hayes before returning to help hurricane victims as a member of the National Guard.

His wife Ashleigh got choked up saying, "he came home for a day and the fact that he had to deal with this stole from family time. He works so hard so it's upsetting to see people do this to us."

The Union County Sheriff's Office says the intruders smashed the front door of Papa Murphy's, and two neighboring businesses - Madvapes and Firehouse Subs. An employee at Madvapes says the suspects got away with their safe. Deputies believe there were three people involved - members of a gang.

Mike had a few words to say to the people who broke into his store.

"I would say, there's no shortcuts to the American Dream. if you want it, work for it like the rest of us."

Mike is headed back east on Saturday to help with recovery efforts following Florence. In spite of the break-in, they're celebrating something special that happened to come out during the interview.

Mike shared, "I guess I'll let the cat out of the bag. I came home this morning because my wife had her first ultrasound. We're pregnant with another kid. That was the initial reason I was in town was to attend the appointment. Surprise! Now we're going to run home to tell our families now that this will be on the news tonight."

Mike and Ashleigh thank the community for reaching out following the break-in. Mike says the best way to help is to support your local businesses. All three stores that were broken into off Highway 74 at Unionville Indian Trail Road W. are locally owned.