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Thieves break into Detroit liquor store with sledge hammer

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DETROIT – Two men broke through the walls of a family-owned liquor store on Detroit's east side early Wednesday morning.

"I got a call from our security system before 4 a.m.," said Lia's Liquor and Lotto store co-owner Jay. "When I got here, officers told me robbers used a sledge hammer to get in by breaking down the back wall."

Police said the men stole liquor, cigarettes, cash, a pistol that was hidden behind the counter and other merchandise. They also destroyed everything in their path, knocking over the lottery machine and smashing computer screens.

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"We're going to have to pick up and rebuild what's broken," Jay said.

Police said the thieves were in a black 2005 Dodge Durango when officers arrived at the scene, but they took off, abandoned the SUV and got away on foot.

The SUV, which police said was stolen, was impounded and will be looked at for evidence.

Pictures of the thieves that were taken on store cameras have been released.

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This isn't the first time the 20-year-old family business has been broken into.

"We just had the wall repaired three or four weeks ago after a pickup truck rammed through the back of it, and now this happened," Jay said.  

Since July 15, Local 4 has covered  five other businesses that have had walls smashed in during break-ins.