Shattered glass break-ins multiplying

Posted at 6:59 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 23:05:30-05

A suspected thief hurled a rock at the front door of Kim’s Wig Botik in Tiffany Plaza this morning, but the glass didn’t shatter.  It just cracked. So the thief used his boot to continually kick at the door until the glass gave way.

Once inside, he ran around the counter, opened the cash register and rifled through it.

Video: Smash-and-grab suspect breaks into wig shop

The thief’s deeds were caught on camera.

The owner of the boutique shared the video with Denver7 in hopes that someone will recognize the thief and notify police.

Investigators say five other businesses were targeted in the same manner, in the same area, this morning bringing to 12, the number of businesses hit since Monday.

In addition to the wig boutique, a Japanese restaurant and a tanning salon were broken into in Tiffany Plaza. 

About a half mile west on Hampden, a Wahoo’s Fish Taco restaurant, Omaha Steaks and mobile phone store were broken into.

“We were first notified when our alarm went off,” said Carol Schauer, Director of Operations for Wahoo’s Fish Taco – Colorado.  “There was no harm to people and other than the door, everybody is in good shape.”

Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman says “smash and grab break-ins are not new, but what is new is that this appears to be a trend.”

When asked if it’s the new norm, Schepman replied that detectives are trying to identify the people responsible.  He said they may need help.

“We continue to get evidence and are processing that evidence,” he said, “so hopefully we can identify who the people are and put a complete stop to that trend.”

“I have complete faith in the Denver Police Department,” Schauer said. “We just think that good people will turn in bad people and this will be resolved.”

On Wednesday, three businesses were hit at the Happy Canyon Shopping Center at East Hampden and Dahlia.

The burglars smashed the front glass doors at Starbucks, the Papery and Happy Canyon Flowers.

The owner of the flower shop told Denver7 that a couple hundred dollars was stolen.

In mid December, Sweet Ginger and Le Merise restaurants in Cherry Creek North, were both robbed after their doors and windows were smashed.

Surveillance footage provided to Denver7 from Le Merise showed a man in a puffy coat go straight for the cash register. He fumbled with it as he tossed it to the ground to get it to open. While he shoved the cash in his pocket, he looked up and is caught on camera.

Two nights earlier, just a few blocks away at 12th Avenue and Broadway, three restaurants were hit. BurgerFi, Quiznos Grill and NuHu -- all were broken into.

At NuHu, a worker said the front door glass was smashed, but there was no money for the burglar to take. At BurgerFi, an employee who had seen surveillance video of their burglary said that the man looked just like the one caught on camera at Le Merise.

Earlier this month, someone broke the glass and burglarized the Jamba Juice and Taja Indian restaurant at Sixth Avenue and Broadway. The next night, Angelo's CDs and More was hit on south Broadway.

"It's nerve-wracking that someone's going around smashing into businesses," said Meghan Cully at Neptune 7 Salon and Spa.

"We work hard to make these business successful," said Carlos Alire, an assistant manager at Grease Monkey. "People should be respecting that."