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Officers make arrest in Kent restaurant burglaries
Kent Police arrested a 19-year-old man April 15 for investigation of second-degree burglary in connection with at least 15 burglaries of Kent businesses between March 24 and April 14.
At least two acquaintances of the 19-year-old man also are under investigation for their possible involvement with the burglaries.
The man, who police werent naming in their report Friday, targeted mainly Mexican and teriyaki restaurants in the Kent Valley, East Hill and West Hill, said Paul Petersen, Kent Police spokesman.
Police arrested the man at a mobile-home park in downtown Kent. The man often stays with friends and does not have a permanent address, Petersen said.
In each burglary, someone broke a front window with a rock and broke into a cash register or safe at the targeted business. Cash, liquor and beer were stolen, and the burglaries took place approximately between midnight and 5 a.m., when the businesses were closed.
Mexico Lindo, located at Fourth Avenue South in downtown Kent, is one business that police suspect the man included in his chain of burglaries. The restaurant has been burglarized on multiple occasions, according to owner Roberto Gonzales, the most recent times being back-to-back break-ins March 24 and 25. A large window was broken and cash, liquor and promotional signs were stolen.
Gonzales said he feels his restaurant is safer now that police have a suspect in custody.
I feel much, much safer, Gonzales said. I think the police really put emphasis on this case, and they worked very hard to be able to arrest this man. Theyre doing very good work.
Five police officers and detectives were assigned to investigate the burglaries.
Kent Police have sent out queries to the police departments of neighboring cities to see if they have had similar burglaries.
Officers and detectives working hard and coordinating their information led to the arrest of (the man) victimizing small businesses in our city, Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan stated in a press release.
Officers interviewed numerous people in an effort to find the alleged burglar. Many people often knew others only by monikers or the clothing they wore, which made the case more difficult, Petersen said.
Reporter Daniel Mooney contributed to this story.