STAMFORD, Conn. -- Burglars who hit a Stamford pizza place early Monday made off with a safe and pulled the ovens from the wall, causing a gas leak, police said.
The burglary was reported at Fairfield Pizza at 87 Atlantic St., according to police.
The suspects entered the restaurant by forcing a rear door in the Summer Street alley, police say.
Before entering, they cut the restaurant's phone lines, according to police.
Frontier Communications determined that the modems lost service at 1:23 a.m. so police believe that is the time of the burglary, police say.
The burglars dislodged a safe that was bolted to the floor by using a hacksaw or power tool, according to police.
Then the suspects left with the safe, the cash register and the closed-circuit TV monitoring equipment, police say.
Before leaving, they dragged two heavy pizza ovens away from the wall, causing a break in the gas line, according to police.
Fairfield Pizza filled with gas, which went unreported until apartment owners above the restaurant smelled gas, police say.
The Fire Department and utility company arrived and aired out the restaurant, according to police.
Officers believe the suspects caused the gas leak to destroy evidence or to cause significant damage to the business, they say.
There was no ignition source so the building did not explode, which would have put many neighboring residents in harm’s way, according to police.
Police are actively investigating leads in the incident.
Officers believe this was a well-planned out event, with the burglary committed by two or more people, according to police.
The suspects were most likely driving a van or truck, and they spent a significant amount of time at the scene, police say.
Police ask that anyone with information or who has seen anything suspicious on the lower Summer Street area around that time to notify the Property Crimes Division at 203-977-4407. All information will be kept confidential.
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