Smash and grab burglaries investigated

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJLA) - Montgomery County Police, Rockville Police, and Gaithersburg Police are working together to solve a series of overnight smash and grab burglaries.

Watch this security video, and you can see the burglar approach his target. He first breaks the glass door, and then climbs through.

A second camera angle shows the burglar going straight to the store’s counter, where he grabs the cash register and in an instant, is out the door with pharmacist Trung Vu’s cash.

“It’s hard for us to to deal with this,” says Vu, who is far from alone in his misery. The thief also hit the gas station next door, as well as a Dunkin Donuts in the same building.

He and likely at least one accomplice also broke into this Subway and a liquor store. In all, they hit eight businesses total in Rockville and Gaithersburg -- beginning at 11 p.m. Tuesday night and going into just after midnight on Wednesday.

Now, police are wondering if the crimes are the latest in a series of more than 30 smash and grabs across the region.

"It took him one minute to go back here and smash the register," said Brian Boileau, whose historic Riverdale Pizza joint was one of the 13 P.G. County businesses broken into on Thanksgiving night.

"It was really terrible. It hurts you right inside," he said.

During that burglary blitz, a security camera at a Taco Bell also captured a suspect photo as well as an image of the getaway car – a light blue minivan.

During a night when five businesses were hit in Annapolis, a camera caught this member of the team. When shown the photos, several victims told us on Wednesday they had no doubt the same burglars are behind last night’s crimes.

"I hope they catch him, I really do," said Boileau.

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