Crime

Five Mount Sterling businesses burglarized; police seeking tips

Authorities are asking for the public's help in solving the case of five burglarized businesses at a Montgomery County shopping center over two nights early this week.

Sgt. Ralph Charles of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department said four stores were hit one night, and the fifth was burglarized the previous evening.

A jewelry store was broken into, along with a doughnut shop, an Avon store, a woodworking shop and a health spa, Charles said. The stores are next to each other at the Colony Shoppes, just off the Mount Sterling bypass.

Charles said deputies are "pretty sure" that four of the burglaries were committed by the same two men, who were captured on surveillance video.

"It's unusual to break into that many businesses at one time," he said. "But they obviously had the means, and I think they were familiar with the area."

In each instance, the thieves broke through a front door, rushed inside, scooped up loot and fled immediately, Charles said.

"If you look at the videos, they weren't in any store more than maybe 30 seconds," he said. "They busted through the door at a run; just threw a block through the door and never even stopped."

In most of the stores, the thieves broke into cash registers, he said. At the jewelry store, they took items from a display case after smashing it, he said.

Authorities are not releasing details of all that was taken while the investigation is continuing, he said.

According to authorities, surveillance images show two men wearing hoodies and gloves, with their faces covered.

It appears that they were driving a small SUV, possibly a Kia or a Ford Edge, Charles said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department at (859) 498-8704. Tips also can be called in to the department's criminal investigations unit at (859) 497-2365.

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