HIGHLANDS COUNTY, FLA - Authorities are urging business owners to protect their stores and restaurants after a crook targeted a dozen businesses.
The crimes occurred in Sebring and Highlands County over the weekend along US 27. Detectives said the suspect used a tool to break the locks of those businesses.
“I’m angry, if I must tell you the truth. I’m angry ‘cause we do work very hard and nothing like this has ever happened,” Celia Paige, the owner of Beautique said.
Paige said the thief stole money from the cash register. Authorities said in some cases it was an attempted burglary.
“I’ve been here 11 years in this plaza and we’ve never had any trouble at all,” Chuck Lyons said.
Lyons is the owner of Edible Arrangements. He said he keeps his cash register empty and open. The thief broke into his store. Lyons said the suspect did not get away with any money.
“Years and years ago an old timer told me when I opened my business he said 'empty your cash register at night and leave the drawer open,'” Lyons said.
Detectives also suggest owners purchase a metal security ring to put over their locks, making it difficult for a crook to break into their business.
If anyone has any information about the cases, they are urged to contact the Sebring Police Department, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, or Heartland Crime Stoppers.