Smash and Grab Burglars Blamed for 32 Tri-Cities Break-ins in Recent Weeks
Local law enforcement officials are searching for what they believe could be a group of burglars working together.
Kennewick and Pasco police say at least 31 burglaries fit a similar pattern, where the thieves smash or break windows to access a business, then pillage inside. 19 such crimes have been reported in Kennewick, and at least 12 in Pasco over the last few weeks.
The businesses targeted include coffee shops, offices, medical and dental offices and convenience stores not open 24 hours. One such break-in was reported in Richland on March 20 when someone broke into Roaster's Coffee.
Police say the suspects appear to be moving back and forth across the river between Kennewick and Pasco. It's almost as if they pull off a few burglaries in one city, then switch to the other. Authorities are stepping up patrols and other surveillance, plus using video camera evidence.
While they believe the break-ins are connected, police stopped short of saying they are the work of one organized group of thieves.