FIRST ON WITN: Intruder Smashes Hole, Cracks Open Safe At Stokes Post Office

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Investigators believe someone used a sledgehammer and a crowbar, smashing a gaping hole in the back of the Stokes Post Office.

The Pitt County Sheriff's Office was on scene Wednesday morning. The hole is as large as a roll-out trash cart and the crowbar was seen next to the rubble.

The burglars cracked open the safe, which is just to the left of where they came through the wall.

Sheriff Neil Elks says they estimate the damage happened between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. Elks says both the sledgehammer and crowbar were left behind.

Counter service for the post office is closed indefinitely, but people will still be able to have access to their post office boxes in the front of the building.

The sheriff says they are looking at whether this is connected to a rash of similar burglaries involving convenience stores in Pitt and neighboring counties that have occurred since last fall.