BELLINGHAM - Burglars have smashed the windows of at least a dozen Bellingham businesses since the start of the year, leading police to ask for tips to help catch the suspects.
Police believe all of the burglaries are linked. Three were reported in the past two days.
In most cases the burglars shattered the storefront glass, then got in and got out quickly, said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young. Small things of value - cash and laptops, for example - were targeted.
"Anything that can be carried off lightly is being taken," Young said.
Police declined to say what tools, if any, were used to break the glass, because the crime spree remains under investigation. In at least one break-in, however, police logs note a rock shattered the window of a business in the 1300 block of King Street early Jan. 22.
The first burglary of the bunch was an outlier. It was reported early Dec. 3, 2012, several weeks before any of the other similar burglaries. But the way the window was smashed in that first case, and some yet-to-be-released details, led detectives to believe it's linked to the "barrage" of a dozen break-ins that followed, Young said.
Several general areas appear to have been hit three or four times, almost always on separate nights: downtown Fairhaven, blocks surrounding the intersection of North Commercial and Magnolia streets, King Street south of the freeway and the 2300 block of James Street. But no businesses were struck twice, Young said.
Anyone with tips should call Detective Tim Ferguson at 360-778-8824 or the police tip line at 360-778-8611. People can give anonymous leads online by searching "tip line" on cob.org.
BURGLARIES REPORTED SINCE EARLY DEC. 2012
View Burglaries reported in Bellingham since early December in a larger map
TIPS FOR BUSINESSES
Remove cash from the register when you leave at night.
Lock your doors and windows.
Consider putting security film on the inside of your glass windows.
If you're the victim of a burglary, report it. Often, minor burglaries go unreported, when they could provide valuable clues to detectives.
If you use a security camera, double-check that it's working.
For a full list of tips, click here.
SOURCE: BELLINGHAM POLICE