PLAINVILLE, Mass. - Smash-and-grab criminals who have targeted stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are believed to be responsible for similar crimes at two Target stores in Massachusetts, a law enforcement source told Boston 25 News.
Our source shared surveillance pictures with us of a thief ransacking the electronics department of the Target in Plainville on August 3.
The police report states, "...the suspect had broken the front doors and had made entry into the store. It was then reported that the male was in the electronic section and looting it."
"The display case holding high-end Apple products and electronics was smashed," the report added. "There appeared to be numerous phones and Apple products missing."
The report states three iPhones totaling $2,500 were stolen. The damage to the glass door was estimated at $1,200.
Fast forward to September 8, Police said a man smashed through the front glass doors of the Target in Marlborough, hopped on a scooter and headed directly to the electronics section. No big ticket items were on display, so he left empty-handed.
24 hours later and more than three-hundred miles away, two people were seen shattering glass doors to get inside a Target store in Exton, Pennsylvania. The pair ran to the electronics department and ripped thousands of dollars wroth of Apple products, iPhones and iPads, from the displays. They even smashed a locked glass case.
Police said the phones were for display only.
"They're stealing displays that are essentially dummies," said Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania Police Department. "They don't even work. So it's not very bright."
Our source said the cases in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania appear to be connected.
The same suspects are believed to have carried out nine smash-and-grabs in four states. Most happened at Target and Verizon Wireless stores.
Our source said the crooks are seen on video at least twice, including in Marlborough, leaving stores with a Pink Razor scooter.
The suspect in Plainville was also on a scooter, according to the police incident report.
"I think it's just a matter of time we get lucky," said Pezick. "They've been lucky this long, but their odds are going to be against them eventually."
Police believe the suspects may be parking in neighborhoods behind each store. They're asking people to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity.
Both Plainville and Marlborough Police declined our request for the surveillance video of the burglaries.
Target sent Boston 25 News the following statement:
"We're aware of several recent burglaries at a variety of retailers along the East Coast. We've been partnering with local law enforcement agencies, including the Evesham, Middleton Township and West Whiteland Township Police Departments. We've shared security footage and will continue to provide them with whatever is needed for their investigations."
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