CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - While Gary Gooding was closing up at Chucktown Tavern on Market Street around 2 a.m. Thursday, another man was casing the scene.
"He was strolling around the area very slowly, so he saw me leave," Gooding said.
The criminal first tried to throw a brick through the door, and when that didn't work he used a big piece of concrete.
"He wanted quick money. He went to the cash drawers and ran out," Gooding said.
He stole a few hundred dollars in cash, but more disturbing than that he stole Gooding's handgun.
"I just don't want anybody to get hurt with it. I would feel horrible if anybody got hurt with my weapon," Gooding said.
The gun had been locked up in the back office until Vickery's, another popular downtown Charleston restaurant, was robbed last year.
"So I transferred it to an empty cash register we keep behind the bar, unfortunately he went straight for the cash registers found the money then found the gun," Gooding added.
The criminal didn't stop there.
"He actually pulled a pool ball off our table and tried to do the same thing next door. Alpha Dog Omega Cat's alarm is an audible alarm. Once he threw it in, the alarm went off and he took off," Gooding said.
Chucktown Tavern has an alarm system, but it's silent, so now they are installing and audible one. And there's a live tavern cam above the bar running constantly, but it's not infrared capable so during the burglary while it was dark, it didn't catch much. That too is being improved.
"We have an eight camera infrared indoor-outdoor system going in so I'll have two cameras outside, six more inside on top of the camera I do have which will give you two night vision, so if anyone tries to do this again we'll get a clear picture of their face," Gooding said.
Another good thing about the new security cameras is that they'll be able to catch any criminal activity across the street and next door in either direction all on cameras.
Now Gooding just hopes police can find this crook and the stolen gun before someone gets hurt.