AKRON, Ohio - Brazen burglars are cutting holes in roofs and busting down walls to break into various businesses in Akron.
Since May, 16 similar crimes have been reported. The crooks are usually hitting during the overnight hours and making off with money, cartons of cigarettes and alcohol.
The most recent incident happened on Aug. 8 at Flag Pole Drive-Thru on South Hawkins Avenue on the west side of town.
The burglar took apart on exhaust fan on the roof of the store, shimmied his way through a crawl space and then busted through the ceiling to get near the cash register.
Surveillance video shows him wearing gloves and shaking the register before using tools to pry it open.
He eventually got away with nearly $3,000 and 20 cartons of cigarettes.
The owner, Barrat Ramnarine, has the mangled pieces of the register in his office, but doesn't have any idea on the identity of the crook.
"You're trying to make a living. It's a small business. It looks like they don't want to go find a job. They just want to rip people off," Ramnarine said.
Many of the other crimes have occurred in Akron's North Hill neighborhood.
On July 19, an unknown suspect cut a hole in the roof of The Wine Barrel on Home Avenue and stole an undetermined amount of money.
On Aug. 4, a rear door was pried open at Abbey Anns on Brittain Road and cash was snatched from a register. The thieves then cut through walls of two adjoining businesses, but nothing was reported missing from those locations.
"They're just actually pushing through the drywall or using some kind of tool to get from one business to the next by cutting a hole in it," said Lt. Rick Edwards of the Akron Police Department.
Edwards believes more than one crew is responsible for the rash of breaking and entering crimes.
Anyone with information on the break-ins should call Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.