Wichita Police Investigate Smash And Grab of Phones, Tablets

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Six cell phone stores have been hit in the last 10 days in what police call “smash-and-grab burglaries.” The latest happened Wednesday morning at the Verizon Wireless store at Kellogg and Greenwich Road.

Police say thieves smashed the door and grabbed what they could around 3:00 a.m. Workers spent the morning replacing the glass door. A quick overnight break-in is costing the company big bucks.

"When officers arrived, they found the glass door broken - what we call a smash-and-grab burglary where several items were taken from the display cases," said Wichita Police Lt. Doug Nolte.

Two iPhones and another smartphone, all valued at $2,100, were gone in a matter of minutes.

“A lot of people over the craze for phones - they want to get phones any way they can,” said Daniel Ramirez of MibileComm. “They'll bust your windows, try to break our doors down, just want to get to your phones."

MobileComm has been hit several times in the last few months. A surveillance video shows a man stealing a phone from the case during business hours.

"Apple iPhones and Galaxy S3 are really big right now,” Ramirez said. “Whatever looks big, they'll take."

Wichita police are seeing a trend. In the last 10 days, six stores, smash-and-grabs with more than a dozen phones and tablets being stolen.

Ramirez has installed security cameras and bars on his doors and windows to protect his property.

"It is upsetting, pretty upsetting, what people do to make a couple thousand dollars,” he said. “You could work for that money."

Cell phone shop owners say the thieves are probably selling the phones online as soon as they get their hands on them. Police are investigating whether the latest thefts are connected.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Police are investigating an early morning smash and grab at an east Wichita business.

Just after 3 a.m., someone broke into the Verizon Wireless store located in the 600 block of South Greenwich.

Once inside, the thief or thieves took several phones and tablets.

The number of items taken and estimated value is not yet available, and police have not released any description of a possible suspect.

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