BELLINGHAM - Burglars lugged cash registers from two downtown Bellingham businesses this weekend - the latest in a string of heists that police believe are connected.
A barbershop and a toy store were struck sometime in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 4.
Bellingham police are investigating at least 16 likely linked break-ins since early December, said police spokesman Mark Young. Each time the burglars shattered the storefront glass, sometimes by throwing rocks through windows. Then, in most cases, they either rifled through cash registers or just carried the whole machine out the door.
Selah Tay-Song, manager of Little Tiger Toys, 112 Grand Ave., said an employee of a neighboring business called police at 8 a.m. Saturday, to report a small hole had been poked through the front door, leaving most of the pane in one piece but looking like a spider web of cracked glass.
Police aren't sure if the thief kicked out the hole or used some kind of tool to shatter the glass. The thief had enough room to reach in his or her arm and unlock the door.
A computer and shelves stocked with toys were passed over. But the cash register - worth more than $200 - was missing. It only had about $14 in loose change inside.
"It was really stupid," Tay-Song said. "You're going to risk going to jail for $14?"
The next morning the glass repairman was running late, Tay-Song said, because of a suspiciously similar break-in about three blocks away at Morries Club Barber Shop, 1523 Cornwall Ave.
Someone had thrown a chunk of concrete through the glass front door. The suspect left with a cash register full of bills, Young said. Some barber tools were missing, too. Between the damage and the stolen property, the barbershop lost a couple thousand dollars, according to police.
Anyone with tips should call Detective Tim Ferguson at 360-778-8824 or the police tip line at 360-778-8611.