FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Security cameras captured video of a New Year's Eve burglary at a veterinary hospital in Fort Collins and the veterinarian said other animal clinics have also been hit.
The owners of South Mesa Veterinary Hospital believe the thief had visited them before, either as a customer or someone who cased the business while asking questions.
The security camera video, time stamped at 1:11 a.m. on New Year's Eve, shows a hooded man coming into the lobby through an interior door and heading straight for a cash drawer.
The veterinarian said the thief broke through the exterior door by smashing it with a large landscaping rock.
"Just threw it right through the front door, broke the glass totally out," said Dr. Jana Dean.
Once inside, the video shows the thief walking behind the front counter and grabbing the cash box. He quickly exited the same way he entered.
The whole crime lasted about 15 seconds.
Although the video is clear enough to show the burglar is wearing a blue jacket, jeans and brown boots, there isn't enough to easily identify the suspect.
"They're wearing gloves and they have masks, or hoodies, so you can't see their face," Dean said.
From the crook's behavior, Dean believes he had a specific plan before breaking in.
"He came in, he pulled his hood over and walked right to where the cash box is. So he's been here before. He knows the system," she said.
Dean said police believe the same person has hit several other veterinary hospitals, a fact that 7NEWS was unable to independently confirm on with police during the New Year's Day holiday. She said a cash box from one of those other crimes was found in a dumpster and that some of the other hospitals had contacted her after they'd been victimized.
"And we're sitting here saying, 'we're going to be next.' It's almost like we knew. I wasn't surprised at all, you know, and I hate that feeling," Dean said.
The worst part, Dean said, is wondering if it will happen again - perhaps while staff is still working.
"They might be here during the night. They might be taking care of patients or dealing with animals here and they have to feel safe when they're here. That's my main concern," she said.
The veterinary hospital is considering putting bars on their windows and doors, or perhaps getting a guard dog.