WEB EXCLUSIVE: American Idol star's family pawn shop burglarized - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

WEB EXCLUSIVE: American Idol star's family pawn shop burglarized

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The family of American Idol Phillip Phillips is hit by determined criminals.

Thieves used a stolen Water Gas & Light backhoe to smash their way inside the Phillips family pawn shop overnight Tuesday.

"This morning officers came as there was a report of a burglary. Apparently the suspects stole a WG&L backhoe that was secured at a compound on Maple and Clark," said APD Media Manager Phyllis Banks.

The pawn shop is at the Corner of Oglethorpe Blvd. and Thornton Drive. The well site where the backhoe was jacked is about a mile-and-half way.

It's likely the crooks climbed under the fence, bypassing the barbed wire to steal the machine.

"They hot wired it and drove it through our fence causing about $3,600 dollars worth of damage," said WG&L investigator David Atkins.

"What we think is they drove the backhoe from Maple and Clark over to this area," said Banks.

The backhoe thief then smashed through the wall at the Pawn Shop made famous by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. His dad, Donnie, owns the business.

He's in Hollywood with his son and is aware of the break-in.

No one at the store wanted to talk on camera today but like everyone else, well aware these crooks went to great lengths to get inside.

The suspect even cut the phones lines and alarm to the business.

"A large amount of time as well. So what we're asking is a backhoe, around that time of night between nine and 8 o'clock this morning, we're hoping that someone heard or saw something and will be able to give that information to police," Banks said.

Attention generated by the machinery could help in the case. It's a case though that will no doubt grab attention because of it's famous connection.

Police and the co-owner were called to the store last night to an alarm but nothing appeared suspicious, no damage was done.

That was just before 10 o'clock.

Police are seeking surveillance video from nearby businesses to see if captured the crooks on tape.

If you saw a backhoe in east Albany between Clark Avenue and Oglethorpe and Thornton Drive, or have any information that can help police, call crimestoppers at 436-TIPS.

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