The brazen daylight break-in this afternoon (Sunday, Feb. 13) at the former Strauss Discount Auto store left people standing around Lawrence Shopping Center, pointing and shaking their heads in disbelief.
The two suspects were described as each having four legs. They were completely covered in hair and able to move at tremendous speed.
They managed to elude capture and were last seen bounding toward the rear of the shopping center.
It was about 1 p.m. today when Lawrence Township police received a 911 call from a shopper at the strip mall reporting that two deer had broken through a window and were running around inside the vacant store.
Several police officers immediately responded to the shopping center in the 2400 block of Brunswick Pike at the corner of Texas Avenue. But the deer had already broken out – one through a second window and the other through a glass door – and had disappeared.
One witness who spoke to Lawrenceville Patch at the scene said she had just gotten into her car and pulled out of a parking space when she saw the two deer run, “one after another,” at full speed toward the former auto parts store and smash through one of the large glass windows.
After a few minutes of running around inside, one of the deer exited the empty store by breaking through another window about 20 feet away from where it had entered, the woman said.
She said the other deer came out in a much more dramatic fashion – leaping through the glass of one of the store’s doors, about four feet off the ground.
“He or she – I don’t know which it was – came crashing through the door. It blasted right through there and bounded away,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.
She said she last saw the deer when it jumped over a giant mound of snow in the parking lot and presumably joined up with the other deer.
Shards of glass littered the sidewalk in front of the empty store and traces of blood were visible around the edges of the hole that gaped through the shattered door. Pieces of deer hair could also be seen nearby.
It was unclear how severe the injuries were that the deer suffered, but neither animal could be located by police officers who searched the area around the shopping center.
Police said the shopping center’s management was notified to clean up the glass and cover up the holes in the windows and door.