Police Investigate String Of Smash And Grab Burglaries

There was only one thing on the suspect's mind:  get in, grab what you can, and get out, quickly.  Surveillance video taken at the Texaco Food Mart on South Broadway showed a man, his face mostly covered, busting through the glass door of the gas station around 6:30 Sunday morning.  "When I got here, I saw the glass all broken to pieces, and I knew then, somebody had broken in."  Edna Elliott is the manager at the Texaco, and she said, thankfully, no money was taken.

"It makes me madder than two pistols," she said.  "There's a lot of jobs out here.  It may not be the one they want, but they can work."

The suspect was hard at work, Sunday morning.  Before he broke into the gas station, he broke into Fazoli's on South Broadway.  About 20 minutes later, shortly after he burglarized the Texaco, a call came in saying Regency Cleaners on Old Bullard had also been broken into; later that morning, the thief struck again at China Cafe on the Loop.   In most cases, a cinder block was used to bust through windows and doors.

"Obviously, the thieves can't read because I have all the cash deposited nightly," said David Gregory, pointing to the words printed on the door of Regency Cleaners.  "We don't have any cash in the stores.  They busted through and got the plastic drawers we keep the change in and probably walked off with a whopping $3 in change."

Gregory said he thinks it's kids just being petty, but Tyler Police are skeptical.   "He's looking for a quick run and grab for cash," said Don Martin, public information officer with Tyler Police Department.  He said, more than likely, the smash and grab burglaries, which yielded practically no money,  were committed to support a drug habit, based upon the nature of the crimes.  "He's in and out within one to two minutes."

Police are now hoping they catch up with him soon.  If you have any information, call the Tyler Crimestoppers Hotline:  903.597.CUFF (2833).

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com