LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Lakewood police have identified five more smash-and-grab burglaries of businesses, raising the number of similar break-ins in Jefferson County to eight in three months.
Wheat Ridge and the unincorporated Littleton area have each had one smash-and-grab burglary this month, authorities said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and local police agencies are investigating the string of burglaries.
On Wednesday, the Lakewood Police Department increased its number of potentially connected business burglaries from three to six as investigators found new cases stretching back to early January.
Here are details on the most recent break-ins.
Deputies were sent to 5055 S. Kipling Parkway just after 1 a.m. on April 12, after an alarm went off at a liquor store.
The deputies discovered the glass on the front door was shattered by large landscaping rocks. The owners told 7NEWS Reporter Lindsey Sablan off-camera that cigarettes, liquor and a small amount of cash was stolen.
Surveillance video showed that in less than a minute, two suspects threw a large rock through the glass door and ripped the register from the counter. The suspects were wearing work-style gloves, hoodies, and bandannas over their faces. They left in a white Acura, possibly a late 1990s or early 2000s model.
"The suspects are very quick. They're in and out within minutes. It's hard for us then responding to catch them in the act," said Amber Luttrell with the sheriff's office.
A second smash and grab was reported in Wheat Ridge about an hour after the Kipling liquor store break-in on April 12. The location is about a 20-minute drive from the Kipling liquor store.
Burglars hit the Advantage Wireless store at 3914 Wadsworth Blvd. Advantage President Sy Ruiz told 7NEWS a delivery truck driver heard glass breaking, then saw a man coming out of the cell phone store with stolen items.
"When you first see it, it’s yours, so there’s a definite emotional loss you feel it right away," Ruiz said. "They smashed the front of the showcase so that created even more glass everywhere...just a mess, stuff on the carpet, all over. From the entrance, probably 15 to 20 feet, you just saw pieces of glass all over. Then you saw these two humongous rocks."
Police said two cash registers were stolen, along with cell phones and accessories. Ruiz said the damage and stolen goods cost him in the thousands.
The suspect was described as a man wearing a gray hoodie who left in a white car.
Another smash and grab was reported at 3 a.m. ten days earlier, on April 3 at 1555 S. Kipling Blvd. in Lakewood. Police said four masked suspects threw rocks through the glass door at Lockwood Square Liquors and took off with a cash register and liquor.
"We’re asking business owners to be cognizant of any suspicious people, either in the parking lot or casing the business itself. With that said, we’re also hoping the business owners are cognizant of their situation within the establishment. Are you removing the cash every night, are you securing your cash register in a way you hadn’t thought of before," Luttrell said.
Anyone who has information regarding these crimes is asked to call the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office tip line at 303-271-5612.
Here are the locations for the five additional Lakewood business break-in released by police on Wednesday:
--Jan. 8 at 10:30 p.m. Spirit Shop Liquor and Wine, 7111 W. Alameda Ave.
--Feb. 5 at 1:55 a.m. 305 Liquors, 305 S. Kipling Blvd.
--Feb. 5 at 3:46 a.m. Freaky's, a gift, tattoo, body-piercing and smoke shop, located at 3355 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
4. Feb 6 at 2:53 a.m., an earlier burglary at Lockwood Liquors, which was hit again on April 3. It is located at 1555 S. Kipling Blvd.
5. March 17 at 3:55 a.m. a second burglary at Freaky's, 3355 S. Wadsworth