Pasco deputies investigate smash and grab burglaries - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco deputies investigate smash & grab burglaries

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Pasco County deputies are investigating a string of smash and grab burglaries at local businesses.

The suspect – or suspects – haven't gotten away with much, but they left a trail of broken windows and cleanup expenses for business owners.

"They're taking whatever items are available whether it be cash, coins," Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a news conference on Thursday. "They're only in there for several minutes at the most, they're not spending a lot of time and they're getting out of there."

The burglaries started in January and happened between midnight and 6 a.m. at businesses in Port Richey and Hudson.

The latest ones happened last week at a hair salon and pet store in Hudson.

The break-in at new pet store Fancy Tails Exotic Pet Boutique happened the day before the store was scheduled to open for business for the first time. On a surveillance video, a man can be seen coming through the door and using a crow bar to try to open what turned out to be an empty cash box.

"It's just like, what goes through their head?" said Stephen Tippie, owner of Fancy Tails Exotic Pet Boutique. "I mean, you're costing me more money than I even would have had in my drawer."

Tippie said the break-in cost more than $200 between the cost of the broken glass on the door and the damaged cash box.

The store, which sells pet food as well as animals including reptiles and mice, was equipped with cameras. But Tippie says he plans to add even more security after the experience.

The detective working on the case said he believes one or two people are responsible for the burglaries. The sheriff's office released a suspect description of a white male age 30-45, 5-foot-nine to 6 feet tall and weighing 160 to 190 pounds.

The sheriff's office is looking for assistance from the public to identify those responsible.

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