Business owner says burglar ransacked store, destroyed computers to cover it up

Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 22:55:52-05

Five weeks before tax day, Bill Johnson came in to find his store ransacked and his computers destroyed.

"I walked back there and I looked and my servers and all my hard drives were gone," Johnson said. "And at that point, I knew my world was destroyed."

Johnson and his wife Margaret run their businesses in adjacent offices.
He's an accountant, she's a veterinarian.

The man broke in from the back, then came into the vet office and stole thousands of dollars of Vicodin and Morphine.

Johnson thinks the man then saw himself on surveillance video and tried to ruin the computer system to cover it up.

"He was trying to find the recording and destroy it," Johnson said. "That's the only thing I can possibly think of."

The personal and financial information for Johnson's tax clients is safe.
He had backed it all up.

"He had taken all the hard drives and put them in a bucket full of water," Johnson said. "Just to destroy them."

He's spent the last couple days getting new hard drives and trying to get his server up and running again.

"We've been down three days already and I'm going to be lucky to be up and running 100 percent by Monday if I'm lucky."

Johnson's wife came in to work just before 3 am Wednesday to find the burglar rummaging through both offices.

"She's standing right here talking to police, and he's walking right there. so he had no fear," Johnson said.

The suspect took off, Johnson found a backpack and the man's jacket in the back parking lot.

Police also discovered a recently used syringe near where the drugs had been locked up.

After cleaning and trying to get his computer system up and running, Johnson will lose a week's worth of work.

It's a crippling proposition for an accountant this close to tax day.

"We're just trying to get through the day," Johnson said.

Beach police suspect the man who broke into the vet and tax services store also burglarized a home off Great Neck Blvd. and then killed himself in the street with a gun.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for more updates.