Jason Pressley

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — A police investigation into two missing benches from a Rock Hill Food Lion ended last month after it was learned it was just a misunderstanding.

Employees reported the benches stolen after they disappeared from the outside of the Food Lion located at 1720 Ebenezer Rd.

Food Lion office supervisor Kiana Caldwell said the benches went missing during a midday rush on Jan. 18, which made her believe it was a robbery.

“They were drilled into the ground and whoever took them got them up in 15 minutes without being seen,” said Caldwell. “That and the fact that no one working here saw or knew anything about them being gone made us think they were stolen.”

Police began an investigation into the matter, believing the purported theft could have been perpetrated by metal thieves.

“It’s definitely an unusual crime,” said Deputy Randall Keith, with the York County Sheriff’s Office. “It sounds like they may want the benches to sell the material they’re made of.”

The investigation ended when employees found the benches in a storage unit owned by the company.

“We knew they couldn’t have been stolen then. Our store owner wasn’t sure why they were there, though, so we still had questions,” said Caldwell.

Employees said they learned the Food Lion corporate office had received complaints from businesses near the store about the benches, which led to their removal.

“Employees like to smoke on the benches and smoke was traveling into the liquor store and nail shop next to us,” said store manager Tiffany Jackson. “They complained to corporate and had the benches removed from the property completely.”

Keith said he’s glad the matter has been resolved.

“We’re just happy to know that there aren’t metal thieves running around Rock Hill,” said Keith.