PRICHARD, Ala (WALA) -- Multiple Prichard businesses were hit by what appears to be the same thief.

Two of the places had their cameras rolling as the suspect tried to rip them off. One owner says about $5,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.

Armed with a crow bar, a crook dressed in dark colored clothing and a mask broke into a Prichard ice cream shop.

It was just before 3 am Thursday morning when it went down at Southpole Creamery and Frozen Treats on Whistler Street.

It did not take long for the guy to get inside.

“The alarm went off as he was trying to pry the door in, so I guess his time was limited and by doing so it kind of scared him,” said Southpole Creamery & Frozen Treats Owner Travis Seals.

Seals says the crook was inside about 45 seconds. He tried to steal from the register and take the TV, but after struggling for a few seconds he ended up running out empty handed.

“I’m mad because I got to fix the door,” he said. “Unnecessary money being spent.”

Less than 20 minutes after the ice cream shop break-in, what appears to be the same suspect broke into the One Stop Convenience Store on Main Street. This crime was also caught on camera.

Once inside the crook made a beeline for the register, but there was nothing inside.

The store owner says the guy then loaded up roughly $5,000 worth of cigarettes into his backpack and ran off.

Down the street, Starch Down restaurant was also hit. A window was smashed and the suspect stole from the register taking a a little cash.

“If he needs a job, he needs some extra money, I’d give it to him out of my own pocket if that’s necessary, but I hate a thief,” Seals said.

Prichard Police say they are investigating these break-ins. If you have any information give them a call.

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