Six Businesses Burglarized - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Six Businesses Burglarized

A string of burglaries occurred in Smith County overnight and authorities believe they may be linked to others around the area.

Six businesses, including a post office were targeted. It happened along a mile stretch of Hwy 110 in Whitehouse, just South of the Tyler city limits. Police got the call early Monday morning.

"About 3:30-4:00 this morning, an employee showed up at the post office and discovered a back door was pried open," said officer James Stewart of the Whitehouse Police Department.

A mangled door, disabled alarm and empty cash drawers were all police found at five other businesses, located less than a mile away, which had also been broken into.

"The M.O. on all of them was the same-- through the back door, disconnected the phone service and disabled the alarm system," said Stewart.

Police say the thieves used a crowbar to pry open the doors and once inside they took only cash, leaving computers and other valuables behind.

"We got real lucky, I'm not sure what all the neighbors had but we got real lucky, we'll be up and running real fast," said State Farm agent, Chuck Osborn.

Ten dollars was all burglars got from the Curves gym next door. Owner Charlotte Mullins isn't sure why they were even a target.

"We have an alarm system, so we thought somewhat about it, but we didn't expect them to cut everything and come in and pry the doors open," said Mullins. "They spent a lot of effort on this place for what they got."

Police say with a growing population, everyone needs to be aware.

"We're not the small town, four way stop anymore-- there are a lot of different elements moving into this area and we're going to start having crime like big cities," said Stewart.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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