Burglars return to haunt Oak Harbor

Burglars who targeted businesses in Oak Harbor earlier this month may be back.

Lt. John Dyer with the Oak Harbor Police has alerted businesses of a string of five break-ins that occurred on the night of Sept. 17 or the early morning of Sept. 18.

"The entry method was similar to the burglaries that happened a couple months ago," he said.

The burglars entered the businesses by dismantling the locks on the front doors, possibly with such tools as a vice grip or pipe wrench. In these cases, little money was stolen.

Three stores of Midway Boulevard were hit: Oak Harbor Hearing Aid Service, Hair Happenings and Pilgrim's Nutrition Center. On Highway 20, Taco del Mar and Oak Harbor Florist were also burglarized.

In addition, Dyer said officers responded to several alarms at other businesses during the same time period, but he's not sure if they were caused by the burglars.

While detectives are looking at the evidence — including videotapes — patrol deputies will be paying special attention to the business districts.

"The officers are finding several businesses with unlocked doors. That concerns us," Dyer said.

In response, Dyer sent out an email alert asking business owners to take precautions, such as installing alarms, keeping valuables in a safe, consider installing alarms, and most importantly, locking doors.

Dyer said there hasn't been an increase in home burglaries, but it has been been a surprisingly busy weekend for police. Officers received three reports of stolen cars — a 1997 Saturn, a 1993 Honda Accord and a 1989 Honda Accord. On top of that, there were several reports of car prowls.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Dyer said.

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