BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A burglary this morning is being described as a “smash and grab” at two local cellphone retailers on Avenue L in Fort Madison.
According to interim Fort Madison Police Chief Stacy Weber, the burglaries took place at approximately 3:45 a.m. Monday morning.
“The burglaries happened simultaneously at the U.S. Cellular and Verizon stores in Fort Madison,” Weber said this afternoon.
“Two male subjects were seen on video in both places so we have suspects and the newly assigned Fort Madison detective David Doyle is working with Detectives (Clint) Ray and Chad Donaldson from the sheriff department in investigating the incident,” Weber said.
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He also said investigators believe the incident is tied to additional burglaries in other jurisdictions, and a vehicle theft.
Weber said detectives are also looking into the still open cases involving a December break-in at Rashid Drug which is in the same neighborhood as the cell phone retailers, as well as a incident at the Fort Madison Rec Plex.
Weber took over as interim Fort Madison Police Chief on Saturday after the departure of Tim Sittig, who resigned as the Fort Madison Police Chief on Friday.
“We’re aware of those open cases involving the rec plex and the Rashid burglary, but they just walked into this one and it has consumed them from the beginning of the day,” Weber said.
“Newly assigned Detective Doyle will be working hand-in-hand with our detectives.”
Weber said the burglary was a typical ‘smash and grab’ you would see in more metro areas.
“They just throw something through the window and go in and steal phones, but they didn’t get away with very much. They did more damage to the windows,” he said.
Police were called to the scene at about 6:30 a.m. Monday morning to find both the glass doors at U.S. Cellular at 2315 Avenue L and the Verizon retailer at 2311 Avenue L both shattered.
The U.S. Cellular office space is leased from Dave and Sandy Holtkamp and the Verizon store is located in a building owned by Dan Fraise.