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Dairy Queen break-in

A door was pried open and a safe cracked at Perham's Dairy Queen--sometime between closing time on April 1 and the following morning.

It was no typical April Fool's Day prank; rather, the crime has the marks of a more professional heist. It appears that the suspect(s) behind the break-in were well prepared, utilizing some type of an electric cutting tool to break into the business's safe.

Perham police were first notified of the situation at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, April 2. Upon arriving at the scene of the incident, an officer noted that the back door to the building had been pried open with what appeared to be a 1 1/2 inch wide flat bar.

The door through which the suspect(s) gained entrance is located on the west side of the building, and is concealed by a fenced-in enclosure. This private entrance could have allowed the intruder(s) time to break into the business without the possibility of being noticed.

Employees left the restaurant between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. the night of April 1, after the closing time of 9 p.m. The theft could have occurred either late Tuesday night or in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday.

Once inside the Dairy Queen, the suspect(s) entered the office area and pulled a safe away from the wall. According to the police report, the back of the safe had been cut through and then pried open.

The report states that the safe and the floor area around the safe were covered with a purple colored liquid. An empty plastic jug was found on the floor next to the safe. The jug had been filled with a degreaser cleanser used at the Dairy Queen.

In his report on the findings at the crime scene, Perham Police Officer Todd Sandahl wrote that "it is thought that the liquid was used to pour over the blade while cutting as a coolant or lubricant."

Partial shoe prints were also discovered in some of the metal shavings left on the office floor. The rest of the store area was examined for signs of damage or theft; it appears that all other areas were left untouched.

Contents of the safe are currently being examined. A summary of the amount of cash that is missing will be complied.

It is likely that the money taken from the safe would be stained from having been soaked in the degreaser. Some checks left behind in the safe were covered with the liquid, which had permeated the inside of the safe.