North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 5, 2013

Neighbor helps thwart pharmacy burglary

By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News

MT. OLIVE — Following an attempted burglary, a local business owner is grateful for people who look out for their neighbors.

Steve and Sherry Mullenix received a frightening early morning telephone call on Saturday. The caller, at about 2:20 a.m., said he was with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He wanted the Mullenixes to meet a deputy at their business, Mt. Olive Pharmacy, with a key because someone had reportedly tried to break in.

Steve Mullenix said deputies determined that the suspect had hammered the back door about 15 times with a sledgehammer. The door held, however, and the suspect did not get in.

Sgt. Jack L. Self of the sheriff’s office confirmed that the break-in was an attempted burglary. He said there is one suspect, and that no arrests have been made.

The pharmacy door and door frame must be replaced, but the Mullenixes said it could have been much worse if not for the neighbor who heard the commotion and called 911.

The Gardendale Police Department responded, along with sheriff’s deputies.

The neighbor, who was unavailable for comment, told deputies she heard a noise that at first sounded like a basketball being thrown against her home.

The neighbor reportedly walked down the driveway and saw a suspect trying to get into the back door of the pharmacy. A shout made the suspect run away.

“We’re just glad somebody was looking out for their neighbors, and called the police,” said Steve Mullenix. “(The suspect) really messed up the back door, but they didn’t get in. It could have been much worse.”

Self said there is no reason to believe the attempted burglary is related to the recent burglary of a pharmacy in Corner.