By Jennifer Brice
DENVER (CBS4) – Six businesses in Denver were struck overnight, making it a total of 12 similar crimes this week. Police are investigating whether the same suspect is connected to all the smash-and-grab burglaries in the area.
The series of smash-and-grabs started on Monday with three businesses hit, including a Taziki’s restaurant where the suspect took money from a cash register.
Then early Wednesday morning another three businesses in the same area were targeted, this time thieves smashed through the doors of a Starbucks, The Papery and Happy Canyon Flower Shop.
The six businesses hit overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning suffered more property damage than what was stolen.
The businesses hit include the Omaha Steak Store, Kim’s Wigs, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and Noodles & Company near Interstate 25 and East Hampden Avenue on both sides. All the businesses targeted this week are in the 5000, 6300 and 7400 blocks of East Hampden.
Taylor Dunn works at Omaha Steaks. She says the only register the thieves damaged was the one they didn’t leave open.
“And there was no money in there anyways,” Dunn said. “So they didn’t take anything, they didn’t even take food. It was a pointless break-in.”
Surveillance video shows the suspect pounding through the door of Kim’s Wig Shop and then shows him inside only for about 45 seconds, long enough to steal $200.
The suspect then moved onto another store, hitting six in all.
Investigators say all the crimes are similar in nature but they have not officially linked the six new crimes from Thursday morning to the others.
The owner of Kim’s Wigs believes the suspect caught on camera inside his shop must have a partner in crime.
“We can hear from our audio that he’s talking to somebody either on a radio, maybe on a cellphone, and you can tell from outside that they warn him that a trash truck is coming and that’s when he hid,” said Chris Blankenship, owner of Kim’s Wigs. “So there’s more than one person, maybe two.”
Police have increased patrols in the area and in the shopping centers. Community resource officers have reached out to businesses in the area to inform about the smash-and-grabs. Employees say they are frustrated the suspect’s continue hitting businesses in the same area with such ease. An employee from Noodles & Company, who wanted to remain anonymous, says they need to be stopped.
“Someone needs to catch them. This is frustration and not worth anyone’s time.”
The Starbucks in the shopping center at Hampden and Fairfax also captured surveillance pictures of the suspect.
Additional Information From The Denver Police Department
Remain anonymous and earn up to $2,000. Call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). Text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter the message, or send an e-mail to metro-denvercrimestoppers.com; or use the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers mobile app which is immediately available as a free download on smartphones.