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Police investigating series of break-ins at beverage stores across Northeast Ohio

Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-07 18:41:41-04

Investigators are looking into two more cases where a group of guys tried smashing their way through the front doors of beverage stores in the Cleveland area. 

First, police received a call from the Shree Quick Mart on Lake Road in Sheffield Lake on Aug 3.  Surveillance video showed at least three men walk across the front of the building, then at least one of them began t through the glass door. Eventually, they gave up without taking anything from the store.

"I just felt lucky that they didn't get inside and get anything," said store owner Pranita Patel, "But still, it's bad."

Then, about 40 minutes later, investigators in Rocky River received a call of someone breaking into Pier Beverage on Lake Road. Thieves shattered the front doors and stole packs of cigarettes, a cash register, and damaged an ATM, according to the store's owner.  

The owner says it's the third time in a year someone's smashed through the front doors to steal from him. After the latest break-in, he added metal bars in hope of keeping thieves out.

Authorities are trying to determine if the two cases, which are about 14 miles apart, are related.

Investigators also want to know if the cases are connected to three break-ins at a Minotti's Wine and Liquor store in Rocky River. Those happened in May and June. At the time, police believed the Minotti's cases could be tied to similar break-ins in three other counties.

Tuesday, Rocky River police said they were still waiting on DNA testing on evidence collected from the Minotti's break-ins. Authorities are hopeful the evidence will lead them to the thieves.