Person sets fire, makes sandwich, eats cheesecake during burglary at SC business

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GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A burglar who hit a Gaffney business didn’t leave without setting a fire, making a sandwich, and eating some cheesecake.

The owner of that business spoke with our sister station 7 News about the bizarre incident. Annie Yelton runs the popular restaurant in downtown Gaffney called “Boston Annie’s.”

“We’re known for our chowder. Our New England-style clam chowder. And our broccoli cheddar,” Yelton said.

It’s clear by her accent, Annie Yelton is from Boston–but she’s happily made Gaffney her home.

“I feel very welcomed. I’m grateful. I feel very blessed to be here,” she said.

In fact, Yelton is just a few days away from celebrating her third year of being open. A true accomplishment, she said, especially after COVID hit.

“I thought we were going to have to close,” Yelton said.

And, now, she’s been hit by something else. Someone broke in to her restaurant.

“Almost like getting punched in the gut again, like COVID. I mean, really? Now, I have to spend all this money. It was heartbreaking,” Yelton said. “This community is huge to me. And to have a member of this community break in to something that I love and worked so hard for.”

The perpetrator got in through an abandoned building next door.

“They pried the door open, they got my register, ate some cheesecake, made a couple sandwiches,” Yelton said.

And that’s not all. They also set a fire inside and stole the batteries from Yelton’s smoke detector.

But Yelton’s business wasn’t the only business broken into on Tuesday night. Brian’s Jewelry & Repair was also hit and his cash register tampered with, just like Yelton’s.

“Our cash register is a little rickety, but it still works, it prints,” Yelton said.

Yelton told 7 News she hopes the person responsible for the crime gets some help, and she said even she- one of their victims- is here for them.

“Addiction. Mental illness. They feel like there’s no one out there. But there are,” she said.

And Yelton said she’s not letting the incident hold her down.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said. “This community is a big part of my life.”

Gaffney police told 7 News they don’t believe the case at Boston Annie’s and the case at Brian’s Jewelry are related.

Both business owners told us they’re now working to implement additional security measures at their businesses.

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