Hutchinson 'Crash And Grab' Suspects Could Be Connected To More Burglaries

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Hutchinson police believe the thieves that crashed through the front of a Hutchinson jewelery store may be behind other crimes in Wichita and Sedgwick county.

At first glance, it may look like business as usual at R. Westphal jewelers.

"Customers are coming in, we're doing repairs, we're delivering repairs,” owner Richard Westphal said.

But if you take a closer look, you'll see the cases are empty, and the employees are on edge.

"Well we're all nervous, we're all paranoid wondering if anything else is going to happen,” Westphal said.

While everyone at the jewelry store is still recovering from Saturday’s smash and grab, the Hutchinson police are trying to track down the people behind it.

They're investigating possible connections between the thieves from the Westphal break-in and several home and business burglaries in Wichita and Sedgwick county; including one from last November, that played out almost the same exact way.

"Same thing, same M.O. Driving the car through the front of the building and then breaking out the display cases. Everything seems to be about the same,” Detective Curtis Black with the Hutchson police said.

Richard Westphal still has a lot of cleaning up to do before his store is back to normal but he says it will take much longer for him to feel normal and safe again.

"It's not so much the loss of property as it is a personal violation,” Westphal said.

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