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By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

Investigation of glass door-busting bandits continues

 

Last updated 2/9/2018 at 2:48pm



The investigation of burglars who use a sledgehammer to break glass doors to enter businesses for quick hit-and-run jobs has spread beyond Fallbrook, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department detective Steve Ashkar.

"There are several detectives from several different agencies actually working this because this MO has gone around in the whole North County," said Ashkar. "It's much more than just Fallbrook."

Ashkar, who works out of the Sheriff's Fallbrook substation, said an arrest was made in Escondido the weekend of Feb. 3-4, "that may or may not be related to what's going on here. The investigation is ongoing."

Three Fallbrook restaurants – Yama Sushi, Thai Thai and Little Caesars Pizza – have been hit twice by the thieves. The businesses first had their front glass doors broken during the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2017, a day in which the burglars also targeted Rosa's Mexican Food and Domino's Pizza. The thieves came away with no money from the five break-ins as they encountered empty tills and impenetrable safes inside the businesses.

The burglars, apparently not deterred despite getting skunked the first time, came back and did a repeat performance on Yama Sushi, Thai Thai and Little Caesars in the early morning hours of Jan. 29. Again they came away with no money, however, they did get away with a whopping two cases of Gatorade from Little Caesars.

The crooks also hit Fallbrook Cafe the morning of Jan. 29 and finally did get some money.

"They smashed a side patio door on the west side of the building, came in and ran around inside for awhile and stole some cash out of the office," said Ashkar. "Of all the burglaries that we've had here, that's the only real cash loss."

Surveillance camera footage from the burglaries show two male suspects who are almost completely covered up. It is believed a third accomplice waits for his partners in a getaway vehicle.

Ashkar said it is yet to be determined if the same suspects are responsible for both the Dec. 26 and Jan. 29 break-ins.

"They covered their faces and they hid their vehicles so it's hard to say if these are the exact same people as the ones who came in (Dec. 26)," said Ashkar. "They're doing the same thing, but without seeing their faces you really can't tell if these are the identical human beings."

Ashkar said it could be a group working as a team.

"They're covered up, but based on their body size and body types, they may be switching people out," said Ashkar. "On a 25-man roster in baseball the same nine guys are aren't always playing. That's kind of how I'm looking at it."

Anyone with information regarding the burglaries is asked to call the Fallbrook substation at (760) 451-3100.

 

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