String of break-ins continues for Hillsboro business owners

Another Hillsboro business was broken into early last week and a second one would have been, but the would-be intruder was scared off by the store?s alarm system.

Rod?s Tire and Service Inc., which is northwest of the downtown area in the retail industrial park, reported that just before midnight Monday, Nov. 24, damage was done to a window after someone had thrown a rock.

?No one entered the building,? said Police Chief Dan Kinning, ?and nothing was taken, but there was $100 in damage to the window.?

The following morning, police were called at 7 a.m. to McMinn?s Bicycle Shop in the 200 block of South Cedar.

?Someone had gained entry and taken $100 in cash,? he said.

?We have a couple of people of interest in these burglaries,? Kinning said.

Police are continuing to follow-up on a lot of leads they have been getting from people in town.

?We are relatively sure these recent break-ins are connected (with the other downtown break-ins),? Kinning said.

?We have increased our manpower to handle the extra patrols and surveillance.?

Kinning said it takes time to check out all the leads coming in, but his office is looking at every one of them.

Kinning said he isn?t sure if the same person is responsible for all the break-ins.

Since mid-October, 15 stores have been burglarized and one attempt was made.

The rash of crimes started in the downtown area, but the latest two stores were on the outskirts of the main shopping district.

While police are doing everything they can to catch the burglar or burglars, the public continues to be vital in their investigation.

Kinning said police need to know if anything suspicious is happening in the city and if so, they should call.

Another way businesses can protect their stores and inventory is to consider installing cameras, security bars, alarm systems or boarding up rear windows that a burglar might break to enter a building.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to its members last week with other suggestions on how to safeguard their stores.

Other ideas proposed were motion sensor lights on back or non-street facing sides of the business, posting signs that no cash is on the premises, leaving lights on, blinds open and securing any possible entry points like rooftop skylights, ventilation shafts and air conditioning or heating ducts.

?The majority of break-ins were through a back door or window,? stated Renee Gilkey, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, in her letter. ?Others were entered through a ventilation system on the roof or even through a garage door.?

Business owners are asked to make sure their store is secure before leaving.

If a store is burglarized, authorities ask to leave things untouched until after they have had a chance to process the scene.

For more information on how to report a crime or suspicious incident, call 620-947-3440.

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