Owatonna businesses are burglarized - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Katie Lange

Owatonna businesses are burglarized

OWATONNA, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- Authorities in Owatonna are on the lookout for a suspect allegedly involved in a string of burglaries. Since the new year, 20 businesses have been broken into.

Diane Randall, owner of Custom Coffee said  for the longest time, she never locked her doors.

"I had a police officer walk right in my back door about 11:30 one night to let me know that yeah, your door is open and it shouldn't be," says Diane Randall.

Since then Randall is more cautious, making sure her business is always secure.

While some businesses haven't been targeted, a downtown clothing store, Kristi's was.

"They broke into the back door and took some cash from the register area, the police think they were here maybe a minute or so because our alarm was going off it was very loud, maybe 6:30 in the morning," explained Kristi Larson.

The alleged suspect took off with $200.

Randall said it's tough to operate a small businesses in this economy.

"To have someone out there who violates these small businesses, it just makes it more expensive to remain in business and to stay in businesses, it's really a shame," says Larson.

In hopes of catching the suspect the police department has increased foot and vehicle patrol. The Police Captain told us they're telling business owners to lock their doors, keep lights on at night, install an alarm system, and deposit their cash at the bank every day.

Officials are suspicious the burglaries are linked. Every break-in has been a forced entry through a front or back door.

At this time the investigation is still on-going and no suspects are in custody.

The 20 targeted businesses are as follows:
Salvation Army
American National Insurance
Bridge Street Chiropractic
Old Town Bagels
Paul's Shoe Repair
Culligan Water
Papa Murphy's
Jaquar Communication
American Family Insurance
SAGE Enrichment Center
St. Claire's
Profinium Financial
Selective Looks
Tonna Auto Sales
Kristi's Clothing
Dance Made Easy
SPC Construction
Plemel State Farm Insurance Agency


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