After laying low for a while, Tyler Police suspect a gang of burglars are back in business, striking area restaurants. Since last year, police report at least ten different incidents of late night break-ins, usually on Sunday nights. The burglars then try and remove the safe from the building, taking it away to open it later.
Police think they're following the same burglars because two of the three break-ins Sunday night followed a pattern they've seen before. The Chili's on the loop was broken into, an office door kicked in and the safe removed. Also, at Subway on south Broadway, a side door was pried open and the safe was dragged out. Although both businesses had alarm systems, the burglars were able to defeat them from the outside of the building.
Then, however, the thieves took a bold step away from their usual game plan. Chris Moore of the Tyler Police says, "Iinside the Tyler Skate Plex, we found the safe from the Subway. It had been beaten open in there and emptied of its contents. Several coin operated machines inside Skate Plex were also burglarized, video games and such as that."
In most of these cases, the burglars were not only able to beat the alarm systems, they were also able to eliminate inside surveillance equipment. Police say these burglars are very focused on removing the safes, and they estimate these break ins took less than fifteen minutes.