Police in Litchfield County are investigating four smash and grab burglaries in two nights. They may all have been committed by the same thief.
"Out in a small town like this," said Jim Keith, owner of Harwinton Hardware, "we don't have perhaps the police protection in the area that we should have."
The thief who broke his front door window couldn't find any cash in the drawers. The store lost power tools to the burglar and tools of the burglar's trade: gloves and screwdrivers.
"He even opened the refrigerator," said Keith. "I guess he was looking for cold cash."
Keith said early Wednesday morning, a policeman had been parked across Route 118 from his store until just four minutes before a call came in from a nearby convenience store, the Daily Mart. The cashier opening up surprised the thief in the act. But in those four minutes the burglar broke into the hardware store and the Daily Mart.
Also hit that night was a feed store in Litchfield.
The morning before, the owner of Scarpelli's Family-Style Restaurant in Torrington found one of his front windows broken and the safe missing from the floor beneath the cash register.
Keith, the hardware store owner, said he'd decided against installing surveillance video but he had already had a burglar alarm installed.
"I've been here for 22 years and we've had a burglary back about 20 years ago," he said, "but of course it's been 20 years since then."