Police investigating rash of Butler County break-ins for connection

Police investigating rash of Butler County break-ins for connection

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The AT&T store in West Chester Twp. was broken into just before midnight Monday. Hours later a Middletown store was hit. Police are investigating to determine a connection. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

Break-ins at cellphone stores in the region have police agencies sharing information to catch the thieves suspected of committing at least two crimes.

Three people broke into the AT&T store on Tylersville Road at about midnight Monday and stole $3,146 worth of iPhones, tablets, headphones and speakers, according to a West Chester Police report.

Then just a few hours later, at 2:20 a.m. Monday, thieves threw a large rock through a window of the At&T store on Towne Boulevard and several iPhones were taken, according to a Middletown Police report.

That marked the second time in two months the Middletown store had been hit, police said. During the early morning hours of July 15, the store was broken into by a man wearing a black hoodie; two men concealing their faces with T-shirts tied around their heads; and a fourth man wearing a black mask were seen leaving the area in a silver Honda Ridgeline, according to reports.

Middletown Police Lt. Jimmy Cunningham said detectives are aware of the break-in in West Chester Twp. and are working to determine if the suspects are the same.

The thieves are in and out of the stores in 30 seconds, grabbing cell phones that are on display or in security harnesses, said West Chester Lt. David Tivin.

“We would be crazy not to think they are connected,” Tivin said.

The lieutenant said there are a usually a rash of similar break-ins every few years.

“But the more they do it and get away with it, the better chance there is they will get caught,” he said. “I have no doubt they will get caught.”

There have been no arrests in either of the Middletown incidents or the West Chester Twp. incident.

Early Wednesday morning three cellphone stores were broke into within an hour of one another in Hamilton County.

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