Safe filled with decades of history stolen from Tillman Furniture

Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
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HAZLEHURST, Miss. (WLBT) - Police are investigating a break-in at Tillman Furniture in Hazlehurst that left the company with a major loss.

Thieves, breaking into a staple in Hazlehurst, didn’t just leave with money but took something even more valuable to the company. The safe at Tillman Furniture was hauled away last week, and inside it was history dating back to the start of the family business.

“It happened in the night, Thursday night, sometime in the middle of the night,” said Tillman Furniture President Julie Morris.

When the store in Hazlehurst opened Friday morning, employees discovered the store was burglarized.

“One of the warehouse doors was left unlocked, and the thieves entered that way,” said Morris. “Somehow, the security system was breached.”

Wires to the surveillance cameras were cut, and the offices were ransacked. Robbers used tools in the building to take a more than 400-pound safe. Three generations of Tillman company transactions and family documents and history are gone.

“The safe has been in our family since before 1940, over 80 years,” said the saddened owner. “And it contained so many sentimental documents to our business as well as our family, and these items are irreplaceable.”

Herman Tillman Sr. started the company in 1940. His son, Herman Tillman Jr., later expanded the business to four locations. Julie Morris, Tillman Senior’s granddaughter, joined the business in 1998.

She now heads the company and is offering a $2,500 reward for the return of the safe and its contents. The original was dragged through the building and out a warehouse bay door.

“We have such a caring community that hopefully will be able to keep their eyes and ears open and let us know if they come across anything that may be suspicious,” added Morris.

If you know anything about this burglary, you are asked to call the Hazlehurst Police Department at (601) 894-1181 or Tillman Furniture at (601) 894-2741. Crimestoppers is also offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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