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Three Cell Phone Stores Burglarized In SD

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Thousand of dollars in merchandise has been taken from three different cell phone businesses in three different cities in South Dakota. Police believe they're all related.

Brookings Assistant Police Chief Dave Erickson says his city, along with two others in South Dakota, are searching for the same people. He says at around 2 o'clock on Tuesday morning they received a call from an alarm company that the Wireless World on 6th Street had been broken into.

Erickson said, "Officers arrived just a few minutes later, found a broken front window which is where we believe they gained access to the business."

Ten-thousand dollars worth of merchandise was missing.

"Mainly, you're more popular ones, like the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxies, and I believe it was around 60 phones," said Erickson.

But Wireless World wasn't the only victim that morning. In Brandon, the exact same thing happened to the Z-Wireless. Police believe anywhere from midnight to 4 a.m., the window had been broken, and $15,000 worth of phones were taken. In Watertown, the AT&T Pro Cellular was also burglarized. Police were called there just before 9 a.m., when an employee arrived to work. Again, the window broken but this time $18,000 worth of phones and tablets were stolen.

Erickson said, "At this point, we're looking that way, that they are connected, being that they happened on the same night.

Only one of the stores had an alarm system go off and none of them had video surveillance to show to police. In Brandon, physical evidence was sent to a lab. In Watertown, police are looking to Walmart across the street from Pro Cellular to see if they caught anything on camera.

But Brookings Police say they do have an idea who they're looking for. Because so much was stolen within such a short period of time, they believe they're looking for more than one person.

"The time that our dispatchers received it to the time our officers arrived on scene, it was two minutes," said Erickson.

They also believe the person responsible isn't local.

Erickson said, "The volume of phones and tablets that were taken, believing that this would be something coming from a larger city, where it would be easier to get rid of that number of devices."

Brookings Police say they do have serial numbers to the phones that were stolen. They will be working closely with the cell phone providers to try to track them. If you have any information on these burglaries, you're urged to call the Brookings, Brandon or Watertown Police Departments.
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