Burglars lift 100 phones from VerizonCreative crooks earlier this month stole roughly 100 cellular phones from Verizon Wireless World on East Point Douglas Road, breaking into a vacant commercial space in the same building, then cutting through two shared walls to reach the phones without triggering an alarm.
By: Jon Avise, South Washington County Bulletin
Creative crooks earlier this month stole roughly 100 cellular phones from Verizon Wireless World on East Point Douglas Road, breaking into a vacant commercial space in the same building, then cutting through two shared walls to reach the phones without triggering an alarm.
A Re-Bath employee first reported the incident to Cottage Grove Police early on April 14, after they found holes in their two shared sheetrock walls — one next to the former Mr. Goodcents sub shop, the other with victimized Verizon.
The burglars “seemed pretty aware of how to get around the alarm system,” said Cottage Grove Police Department investigator Greg Malcolm. With no tenant or alarm system in the empty Mr. Goodcents, the thieves were able to avoid detection by cutting through the thin side walls — with a small, battery-powered saw, Malcolm said would take “literally seconds” — into Verizon without detection.
“These are probably experienced burglars just by the way they went through the adjoining businesses,” Malcolm said. “That’s usually not an amateur.”
Investigations Sgt. Steve McCarthy said last week police aren’t sure when the burglary occurred.
The burglars used a relatively common modus operandi, Malcolm said. Cottage Grove alone has numerous small commercial structures like the one that houses Re-Bath and Verizon on East Point Douglas, many with vacancies.
“We see these (types of break-ins) periodically,” Malcolm said. “They’re certainly not a regular occurrence.”
Nothing was stolen from Re-Bath, a bathroom refinishing business. Rather, Malcolm said, they were “just the way into Verizon.”
Andre Osvold, co-owner of Re-Bath, wasn’t too worried, despite the ease with which the burglars gained entry.
“There’s nothing you can really do,” Osvold said. “If they want to, they’ll get in somehow.”