LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Massingill's owner Chris Ward says utter shock id putting it nicely, recalling the unwelcome surprise he received when coming into work Monday morning.
"Uh, surely not; you know, surely not," Ward said.
Destruction is what he saw. It was the result of early morning thieves having their way inside Ward's family business.
"My safe had been stolen, and the cash register till had been taken. Then we immediately called the police," Ward said.
The Angelina County Sheriff's Office responded, but not before the crooks made off with hundreds of dollars in cash.
"It was three individuals and they were dressed from head to toe with no amount of flesh showing," Ward said.
In response to a question about whether he thought the crime was planned out, Ward said, "Yeah, they knew what they were doing."
However, there was one thing they didn't account for. Store surveillance cameras were rolling and caught everything. As the thieves tried to pry apart the store's safe, they caused the electricity to spark, yet they kept going.
"Everything you work for, it frustrates you, gets you very mad. You've been violated, and you take steps and precautions to prevent it from happening again," Ward said.
Ward said it's a devastating lesson learned, one he hopes serves as an example for area home and business owners.
"They do need to protect themselves and their family, their possessions, because when they come in and do something like this, they disregard everything," Ward said.
And though the road to righting this wrong will be a long one, Ward says he has a reason to take it in stride.
"Our customers take care of us so we'll take care of them too," Ward said.