Several Clarke county businesses opened their shops Wednesday morning and discovered they had been burglarized. The incidents occurred Tuesday night in several locations in and around the Town of Berryville and appear to be connected.
Blossman Gas Store Manager, Ellis Chapman said his employees discovered the cash box in their store had been emptied with the exception of 2 nickels. Investigators believe the thief or thieves may have gained access through a second story window. An undisclosed amount of money was taken.
A similar burglary occurred at Mackenzie’s Restaurant where a cash box was cleaned out and a double nickel “deposit” was also discovered. A third burglary was reported at the Camino Real Restaurant. A vandalism was reported at the USA Tae Kwon Do Center just outside the town limits that same night that may be connected. Cash was stolen in each of the businesses in town and several of the incidents seemed to be marked by pranks. In addition to the nickels left behind at two locations, the perpetrator of the Camino Real theft took the time to have several drinks. The owner of the Camino Real said he found three empty beer bottles and two empty liquor bottles on the steps in his establishment.
The method of entry into the businesses is currently under investigation by the Berryville Police as well as the development of potential person(s) of interest. Berryville Police Chief Neil White said that items of evidence were collected at the scenes and are being processed. He added,” If there are any business owners that would like to discuss their individual security protocols, members of the Berryville Police Department will gladly meet with them on an individual basis to discuss their concerns and evaluate their procedures.”
Sheriff Tony Roper said his office is working the incident that occurred at the USA Tae Kwon Do Center as a vandalism at this time but believes it is probably related to the other incidents.
Anyone with information regarding these burglaries is requested to contact the Berryville Police Department at 540-955-3863 or Clarke County Emergency Communications Center at 540-955-1234. Those who have information and wish to remain anonymous may contact the Winchester-Frederick-Clarke Crime Solvers at 540-665-TIPS.
The investigating officer assigned to these incidents is Investigator Greg Frenzel who may be reached at the Berryville Police Department.