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Linwood man offers $500 reward for conviction of burglars

A Linwood man is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the conviction of burglars that he says broke into his workshop and stole over $40,000 worth of cash and valuables.

Thomas O’Neal says he went to prepare his Phenix City home for the cold weather on New Year’s Eve and to visit a friend in Tuskegee and returned home to find his safe ripped from the wall of his workshop.

“I left at 11 a.m. and got home right at dark, around 5 p.m.,” O’Neal said. “I saw my workshop light on through the window and my cat was running around and acting weird.”

O’Neal said he went to turn the workshop lights off when he found the door had been pulled out.

“They didn’t want to negotiate with the chain and lock I had on it,” O’Neal said. “I had a chain on there that you couldn’t just cut with bolt cutters.”

Instead, O’Neal said the perpetrators pulled the door open at the hinges. According to O’Neal, none of the tools he had in the shed were touched. Instead, the thieves went straight for his safe, which he says was well hidden and bolted to the wall. Inside the safe was $38,000 worth of cash in addition to his mother’s wedding ring, old coins and financial statements.

“They did a lot of work,” O’Neal said. “They tore a big whole in the wall. They took a maul with probably about an 8-pound head and beat the bolt through the wall.”

O’Neal is now seeking for the public’s help to catch the burglars.

“I know somebody must have seen something,” O’Neal said. “A lot of people would have been going back and forth to church on that road.”

The workshop is located on County Road 6600 near the railroad tracks and Murphy’s Meathouse.

PCSO Lt. Troy Johnson said the case is under investigation and that there are no suspects a this time.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call O’Neal at 334-566-8057 or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 334-556-4347.