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NV burglars cut through walls

Thieves hit five businesses in one weekend

IN what may seem like a scene from a crime caper movie, thieves on the North Shore have been cutting through walls and dismantling security systems to carry out thefts.

North Vancouver RCMP are investigating a spate of break-and-enters in which five businesses around town were hit between Oct. 26 and Oct. 28.

In four of the five cases, the thieves got inside their victims' stores by cutting holes through the adjacent walls, and in some instances, they dismantled alarms, motion lights, surveillance cameras and the main power.

Police say it's likely the same culprits are responsible for each crime.

The first break-in took place around 4 a.m. Oct. 26 at the United Royal Currency Exchange on Lonsdale Avenue at 15th Street. The thieves made off with two small safes containing an undisclosed amount of cash, along with a laptop computer and leather jacket.

On the same night, they took several thousand dollars worth of merchandise and a computer from the high-end athletic shoe store Kintec on Marine Drive.

The same group is also suspected of breaking into the North Shore Autowash on Main Street, but in that case, they only tampered with the business's circuit panel.

They struck again at the Lynn Valley Centre sometime the following night where they tried and failed to unbolt an ATM from the ground.

Finally, the thieves tripped the alarm at the Trio Diamond & Gold Jewellery store on Lonsdale Avenue at 15th Street. They pocketed an undisclosed amount of jewelry before police arrived on the scene.

"All investigative resources are being utilized to identify the culprits responsible for this very unusual string of break and enters," said Cpl. Richard De Jong, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP, in a release.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Vancouver RCMP at 604985-1311.

brichter@nsnews.com