Police are investigating a string of burglaries in Waterford where the thieves escaped with cash.
Eight stores along Boston Post Road were hit last week, including Maria Longinidis’ NV Bakery and Market. There, the glass door was smashed in.
“They stole petty cash from the register, they damaged the front window but nothing else was destroyed. It was a blessing nobody was here,” Longinidis said.
Two of her strip mall neighbors at 40 Boston Post Road were also hit that night. The glass to their storefronts were smashed and cash was also taken.
After an alarm went off, police said the people involved ran away, just as a business owner showed up.
Also that night, a business at 60 Boston Post Road was targeted in the same way.
“They went in an immediately went to the cash registers. And that was about all they went to. They didn’t go looking for a safe,” said Lt. Steve Bellos of Waterford Police.
A couple of days later, four stores in the Utopia Center at 262 Boston Post Road were targeted. This time, police said the thieves pried their way in.
“It's really off-putting. It’s kind of frightening because we are here, we work late,” said Hillary Kansel of Utopia Salon.
Thieves targeted cash at Utopia. Kansel said the salon was ransacked.
They also broke into Jordan Chiropractic, but didn’t take anything. The business’ alarm scared the thieves away after they broke through the door.
“They busted it up pretty good. But we got it working again and we’re going to put some dead bolts on it,” said Ken Jordan, the office manager.
Bellos said outside Jordan Chiropractic’s back door was a hat that belonged to a worker at Filomena’s – one of the restaurants hit. Police believe the hat was stolen.
Officers used K9s, collected paint chips, are reviewing surveillance and are now testing DNA to see if they can track down the people responsible and if the crimes are linked.
“You know, it’s more just like a violation, still kind of feel unsafe. We’re just hoping they catch them soon,” Longinidis said.
New London Police responded early on April 15 to three businesses that were also broken into. Waterford and New London Police are working together to see if there’s any link.