Metro business owners concerned after string of burglaries, thefts

After several break-ins, business owners are trying to do their own detective work, and they’re hoping someone watching will take a good look and recognize the men in the surveillance video. 

The men are especially targeting industrial parks, including one in Blaine and Burnsville.

One video shows thieves quite literally smashing their way into Alto Sewer Service in Burnsville. At about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, four men pile out of a pickup and help themselves to roughly $300 worth of Mike Bland’s tools and a car jack. 

He’s surprised any thief would pick his place.

“We have sewer equipment and cheap tools. We’re a sewer company, we don’t buy the expensive tool because it’s going to get full of sewage,” Bland said.

Bland posted the video to Facebook where it’s been shared more than 2,000 times.

Now, police are working with other departments - including Blaine - to figure out if the same suspects could be responsible for at least two mechanic shops burglarized hours later.  

“The biggest thing for me is not knowing if it’s going to happen again,” said Bob Pratt with RP Automotive.

Pratt points to his door - pried open - and a computer scanner. 

That, plus other tools, add up to nearly $23,000 of items stolen from his shop. 

“[I’m] still doing inventory today. I haven’t found anything missing yet, but yesterday I found more items I didn’t find on Monday,” said.

Back at Bland’s business, the men were in and out within two minutes and clearly knew the surveillance cameras were focused on them, but continued anyway.  

“Why didn’t you take this, why didn’t you take that…obviously they didn’t know what they were doing or what stuff is worth,” Bland said.

Business owners say they’re not only hoping to catch the criminals, but also to keep them from coming back.