BELFAST, Maine — The assistant manager of the Family Dollar store has been charged with robbing the store safe during a burglary last Thursday.

Harry Dyer, 25, of Ryan Road was charged with burglary and theft about 10 hours after the break-in was discovered Friday morning. Nearly $2,000 was taken in the break-in.

Detective Michael McFadden said police were called to the Lincolnville Avenue store at 8 a.m. Friday, April 10, after the manager arrived to open for the day and found the front door unlocked. When Officer Howard Dakin checked out the building to determine whether an intruder was still inside, he observed that the door to the safe was missing and that the moneybag was gone.

McFadden said he immediately suspected that the theft was an inside job and that he quickly looked to Dyer as he was the employee responsible for closing the store the night before.

“There were only a handful of people that knew the combination to the safe,” McFadden said Monday. “It was pretty obvious what employee may have been responsible.”

Although McFadden planned to interview all the employees, he started with Dyer. Dyer arrived at the police station at 4 p.m. and admitted culpability after a short interview.

McFadden said Dyer told him that he entered the store at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. He proceeded to show McFadden where he had discarded the safe door in woods behind the store. After that, Dyer took McFadden to a flower garden behind his house and proceeded to dig up the buried moneybag.

Though Dyer told McFadden he buried the money the night of the burglary, when McFadden examined the contents of the bag he found two receipts from the Rockland Wal-Mart indicating purchases made about two hours before Dyer confessed to the break-in. Dyer had bought $279 worth of video games with the stolen money. McFadden said $1,923.25 was still in the bag.

McFadden said the amount of cash was larger than normal because Dyer failed to make the night deposit upon closing. He said Dyer insisted that failing to make the deposit was an oversight.

“When I asked him why he took the safe door, he said he did so because he thought there was a way to determine what time the safe had been opened,” McFadden said. “When I asked him why he did it, he said he was broke.”

Dyer worked for Family Dollar for about six months, McFadden said. He has since been terminated, he said.