Law enforcement agencies in the Tri-Cities believe a recent string of break-ins at businesses in the area are connected.
The burglars are using the same “smash and grab” method, by breaking windows out of businesses and rummaging inside the stores and offices.
The Kennewick Police Department has seen 19 recent commercial burglaries where glass was smashed to get inside, Crime Prevention Specialist Mike Blatman said.
Pasco police Capt. Jim Raymond said there have been about a dozen of similar break-ins in the past three weeks in Pasco.
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“There has been an obvious pattern that the (suspects) are back and forth between here and Kennewick,” he said. “This is multiple suspects that are doing this. It’s kind of the wave right now.”
The burglars have targeted coffee shops, convenience stores, restaurants, medical and dental offices and other businesses.
Richland has seen one break-in like that at Roasters Coffee, which was robbed March 20, Capt. Mike Cobb said.
Blatman said Kennewick police haven’t identified any suspects.
“We have patrol officers working at night looking through commercial areas and paying closer attention. There is just not a lot of physical evidence,” he said.
Raymond said Pasco police are using surveillance footage, though grainy, for their investigation.
Police are warning all business owners not to keep cash overnight and to report suspicious activities to their local police.