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The Daily Tar Heel

Police: Recent Break-ins May Be Related

Money was stolen from two out of four local businesses that have been broken into in the last three days.

Police officials say a string of break-ins at Chapel Hill businesses during a period of just more than 24 hours could be connected.

Chapel Hill police spokeswoman Jane Cousins said the perpetrators of four break-ins, two of which included robberies, all gained entry to local businesses by smashing a door or window.

"This is obviously a problem," Cousins said. "We're certainly looking at them as being related."

The first incident occurred Wednesday morning at the India Palace, located at 508-A W. Franklin St. A patrolling Carrboro police officer alerted Chapel Hill police at 12:46 a.m. of a possible breaking and entering in progress at the restaurant.

Police reports state that an unknown burglar broke the restaurant's glass front door with a brick and stole an undisclosed amount of money. Reports also state that the restaurant was last secured Tuesday at 11 p.m.

Four hours later, just down the street from the India Palace, an unknown person smashed the front door of Uniquities at 4:44 a.m., police reports state.

Police responded to an alarm at the shop and, upon inspection of the premises, found a broken ceramic planter. Officials said the planter was used to break a glass door in the hallway leading to the inside of the shop. Reports state nothing was stolen.

A third incident was reported four hours later at 8:19 a.m. Police reports state that an unknown individual broke into Cafe Parvaneh, located at 400-J S. Elliot Road near U.S. 15-501.

Police reports state that the robber used a sign to break the cafe's glass door and upon entry used a pounding device to open the register and steal an undisclosed amount of money.

The fourth incident happened the following day. Early Thursday morning a break-in occurred at the Inside Scoop, located at 764 Airport Rd. An unknown person used a rock to break a window sometime between midnight and 1:19 a.m., police reports state. Police reports state that nothing was stolen.

Cousins said police have no suspects yet in any of the break-ins. She also said police will be investigating and putting patrolling officers on alert.

"This has been an ongoing problem over the past two weeks in the central business district," she said, explaining that although police are only investigating a link between the four more recent break-ins, the total number of break-ins has increased recently. "This is definitely a focus for us right now."

The City Editor can be reached at citydesk@unc.edu.

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