Police Investigating Rash of Cell Phone Thefts At Stores Across The Region
Henry Co., VA - For authorized cell phone dealer Rick Bibee, having his stores broken into is becoming all too familiar."I'd already been broken into three times prior. It seems like they just keep doing it and doing it, " Bibee said.
He owns two of the three stores thieves broke into last week in Martinsville and Henry County.
Bibee's surveillance video caught three men breaking the glass in the front door and entering the store. Police believe this trio may have been responsible for all three break-ins.
"They are quick. They are in and out in less than two minutes, " Bibee said.
The men grabbed a couple dozen cell phones and cash before exiting the same way they came in.
Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry says this is a growing problem.
"We do think this may be a ring of people working a region. There are other jurisdictions experiencing this problem, " Perry said.
In January, police say thieves stole $20,000 in cell phones from an AT&T in Campbell County.
"State police and even some of the federal agencies are involved, because when you have things like this, you don't know who is doing it and for why, " said Perry.
Right now, investigators think the thieves will try to sell the phones - possibly through online auction sites.
As for Bibee, he is glad his cameras were rolling, but that offers little solace for the repeat victim.
"I got more cameras in every location. Cameras do not prevent burglary. If you can't tell who they area, cameras aren't worth two cents, " said Bibee.
Danville police say they too are investigating three break-ins at cell phone stores in January.
If you have any information on any of these crimes, please contact police.