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Publish Date: 10/20/2005

Police investigating string of burglaries


LONGMONT — Burglars who have smashed their way into Liquor Land three times this summer are fans of expensive liquor, according to manager Noah Tavares.

Each time, a pair of unidentified thieves has shattered the store’s glass front door with a large rock, entered the store at 1020 Ken Pratt Blvd. late on a Saturday night or early on a Sunday morning, and fled with bottles of cognac and other costly spirits kept in a showcase in the store, he said.

“They’re in and out in less than a minute,” Tavares said, adding that the cost to replace the smashed windows has been “way more than what (the burglars) took.”

Surveillance cameras have twice captured images of the burglars, who appear to be Hispanic men in their late teens or early 20s, according to Longmont Police Detective Cmdr. Craig Earhart.

He said the three burglaries at the liquor store are part of a long string of business burglaries that began this summer.

Since the beginning of the year, 29 similar smash-and-grab burglaries and another 18 burglaries in which thieves have pried open doors to businesses and stolen petty cash and merchandise have been reported to police. Most of them occurred between July and October, according to Earhart.

But, he said, “there has been no increase (in the number of annual business burglaries) in general.”

The majority of the burglaries have taken place along the Main Street and Ken Pratt Boulevard corridors, and Earhart said many of the crimes were committed with a similar methodology.

Two businesses on the 1100 block of Francis Street were hit by burglars who pried open the doors. The Alert Realty and Investment Co. at 1132 Francis and The Loaf & Ladle restaurant at 1134 Francis were broken into Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, respectively. Petty cash was stolen from each business, Earhart said.

He said police believe two groups of thieves are responsible for the burglaries, and investigators have been conducting surveillance in the city in hopes of catching them.

Anyone with information about the burglaries is asked to call Longmont police at 303-651-8555.

Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at aarthur@times-call.com.

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