A multi-agency investigation in Warren County is searching for suspects in a string of “smash and grab” burglaries involving two dozen businesses across the county in the past week.
The latest burglaries occurred between 2-4 a.m. Tuesday morning in Mason, where four businesses were struck around Snider and Tylersville roads.
Police are investigating similar reports from Monroe, Middletown, Lebanon and Franklin Township.
Detectives from several jurisdictions are now collaborating on the cases, headed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.
Police believe the crimes may be related, said Warren County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brandon Lacy.
Most took place between overnight hours at small businesses in strip malls without alarms. In each of the cases, a suspect shattered glass entry doors and windows with rocks and grabbed cash out of the registers, he said.
Police are searching for two suspects, a white man and a woman. Video surveillance shows the suspects leaving in a gold or silver, late 1990s model Mercury Sable or Ford Taurus.
“From the way these businesses are being targeted, it appears that they are the same people,” said Lacy. “These people seem pretty desperate. These are pretty high-risk breaking and enterings with being in businesses where there’s people around and cars driving by.”
Danny Nguyen, a nail tech at Zoom’s Nails & Spa, one of the four Mason businesses struck Tuesday morning, said the suspect grabbed between $70-80 worth of change rolls out of the cash drawer, but left a flat-screen TV and computer and monitor.
“They didn’t get a lot but the door was $350 (to replace) and that’s out of pocket,” he said.
Lacy has some advice for business owners.
“Leave your lights on and make sure if that cash register is visible from a window, maybe leave it open to show that there is no money left inside or put a sign on the door, ‘No cash left on premises,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Warren County Sheriff’s Det. Paul Barger at 513-695-1583 or CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040.