WAPAKONETA — A rash of break-ins at Verizon stores occurred Sunday morning along U.S. Route 33 and Interstate 75, starting in Van Wert and ending in Miami County.
Celina police Detective Ron Waltmire said they were investigating a break-in at RG Sound & Communication, 1701 Industrial Drive. The break-in occurred between 5 and 5:30 a.m. Sunday and the burglars smashed the front door to gain entry.
Waltmire said they were able to identify four burglars, three men who entered the building and another driving a four-door, maroon-colored Buick Park Avenue. They stole a variety of items. Officers had yet to determine a total value on the items taken.
At Wapakoneta, police Chief Russ Hunlock said surveillance video shows the break-in occurred shortly before 6 a.m. at RG Sound & Communication, 1321 Bellefontaine St. The video showed three men in dark clothing entered and exited the store in less than a minute. They left by walking west on Bellefontaine Street.
The men smashed the glass of the front door and stole more than $11,000 worth of merchandise, primarily cellphones and tablets. Hunlock said detectives were still compiling an inventory of items stolen.
Before the break-ins at Celina and Wapakoneta, a store in Van Wert was broken into but Van Wert police officials did not release any particulars in the case on Monday afternoon. Hunlock said the same person who owns and operates the stores in Celina and Wapakoneta also owns the store at 1200 S. Shannon St. in Van Wert.
A break-in in Sidney occurred at 6:18 a.m. Sunday when video surveillance captured three men using a paver block to break through the front-door glass. The men were wearing dark clothing.
A Sidney police detective said only a laptop computer was taken from the business.
Troy police officers responded shortly before 8 a.m. to the break-in of a Verizon store at 775 W. Market St. Officers found the front-door glass broken.
Hunlock said he intends to contact investigators in the other municipalities at the sites of the other break-ins to share information.