New round of burglaries raises total to 14

Whether it?s for a thrill or to taunt police, the third in a series of recent burglaries has Hills?boro authorities stepping up patrols, surveillance and more.

Six more businesses, Police Chief Dan Kinning said, were burglarized last Thursday night or Friday morning?bringing the total to 14 since mid-October.

One or more burglars gained entry into the Hillsboro True Value, 125 N. Main, after breaking a window using a hammer found in a pickup truck parked in the alley, Kinning said.

?The hammer was left at the scene and nothing was taken in the store, but it will cost about $100 to fix the window,? he said.

For the second time in two weeks, The Lumberyard Inc., 101 N. Ash, was broken into with damage to the back door.

?The first time a window was broken, but this time (the thief) broke down the back door,? he said.

Damage to the door was estimated at $550, adding to the first break-in when a window valued at $100 was broken and $135 in cash was taken.

Trail Lane Bowling, 121 S. Main, and Jess? Tresses, which adjoins the bowling alley in Suite A, were about the same story with respect to using the alley or back entrance, he said.

At Trail Lane Bowling, the perpetrator(s) broke into the garage door by prying it open.

?Again, nothing was taken at either location,? he said, ?but property damage for both businesses was about $340.?

The Clayworks Gallery, 417 N. Main, had an air-conditioning unit removed from a window. After that, the intruder(s) climbed in.

?Nothing was taken, but $250 worth of damage was done to the air-conditioning unit,? Kinning said.

Burglars also broke in a back window at Old Towne Restaurant, 126 N. Main, and $15 and change was taken.

A Cut Above, 129 N. Main, was also struck, but this time the burglars kicked in the front door, Kinning said. Damage to the door was $100 and $60 in cash was taken.

With the total of break-ins mounting, police are asking businesses, especially those downtown, to continue keeping a light on after closing.

As for one or more of the lawbreakers involved in this rash of burglaries, Kinning said, when they are caught, they will be facing a lot of felony charges.

?We are taking this very seriously,? he said. ?Every time someone enters a building to commit a theft, a lot of felonies occur.?

As for preventing future break-ins, Kinning said his office has set up electronic surveillance cameras and redistributed manpower to the downtown area. Patrols are watching both the front and back of buildings in town.

?We are no longer convinced this is being done by the same people every time,? he said. ?We could have a copycat or someone could be taunting police.?

Hillsboro police are also looking at hiring professional, commercial security.

?This would give us better help and better help in protecting our community.?

Kinning said the perpetrators were eventually caught and prosecuted. ?We do need people to keep reporting any suspicious activities,? he said.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Com?merce has also sent its members a list of tips for keeping their business safe from intruders.

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