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County sees spike in troubling 'smash and grab' burglaries

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a prolific burglar believed to have broken into dozens of local small businesses.

On Thursday morning, Dec. 26, at about 5:25 a.m., deputies responded to a business burglary alarm at 19530 S.W. Shaw St. at Clarke’s Discount Inc. in Aloha. Deputies found the front glass door of the business had been smashed, allowing the suspect access to the building.

These “smash and grab” types of crimes have significantly increased recently. WCSO reports that this same method has been used in dozens of burglaries beginning prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The burglaries have occurred along main business roadways between Hillsboro and Newberg. While the type of businesses and methods are very similar, investigators have not been able to conclusively connect them.

At 5:43 a.m., deputies responded to another business burglary alarm at 5990 S.W. 185th Avenue, Suite F, at Indoor Hydroponics. The front glass door was shattered and items inside were in disarray. Deputies searched the area and found a fourth victim business at 5990 S.W. 185th Ave., Suite D, at La Morenita. That business had the front glass door shattered, but because the glass remained in the door frame, entry was not made.

At 5:54 a.m., a deputy was searching for additional victims and found a large industrial garage door at 19040 S.W. Shaw St. had been smashed in by a vehicle, allowing access to Factory Motor Parts, a wholesale auto parts distributor. The cash drawer area was ransacked.

WCSO officials are concerned with the suspect’s behavior as it appears to be escalating — possibly displaying signs of desperation and frustration at the small amounts of cash stolen.

Detectives are seeking the public’s help regarding this case. If you have any information, please call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (503) 846-2500.

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