Police believe money is the motivation behind a recent rash of burglaries in northeast Nebraska.
Officials with Red Bud Hardware Store in Battle Creek, Nebraska, say an employee knew right away Friday morning that their store was the latest in a string of area break-ins. Amy Walz, Red Bud Manager said, "He had already been to the convenience store in Battle Creek that had been broken into. So, when he first came in and saw a couple things out of place he knew right away that we had also been hit."
Police say burglars made off with a little cash and left some other items in an alley behind the store. Managers at Red Bud say they're still having a hard time believing it could happen to them. Walz said, "My family, grandfather and parents, have owned this store for 40-some years, and very little has happened over that amount of time."
Police say 13 area businesses have been burglarized in the past month, and many of the targets are unusual, like the Marathon Press print shop in Norfolk. Police say law offices and tire stores have been among the other targets. They say while that makes it hard to guess the burglars' next move, there does seem to be one common thread so far. Bill Mizner, Norfolk Police Chief says, "They primarily are trying to find the business office of the businesses and they appear to be looking for cash."
Police have been offering tips to area businesses to make sure they're not next on the hit list. Among the tips: installing alarm systems, keeping cash registers empty at night, and careful storage of valuable items. Mizner said, "A lot of people are purchasing safes to put some valuables in. But they're more the fire type safes, so that if there's a fire it'll protect those documents. But they're relatively easy to remove from the premises."
While the investigation continues, local businesses say they're a little uneasy. Walz said, "Knowing what we've heard from the other towns, the other businesses that have been hit, too...it just puts you a little bit on edge."
Police say the burglars appear to focus solely on businesses, as opposed to homes.
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