Cell phone thieves target new Montgomery stores
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A new Montgomery business chain has been dealing with a string of break-ins, leaving the company with costly repairs and inventory losses.
Boost Mobile recently opened several different locations in the capital city and they've all been burglarized.
The store on West Fairview Avenue was targeted, the location on Coliseum Boulevard was broken into twice, and the Boost Mobile on Federal Drive took the biggest hit when three burglars smashed a window and grabbed a long list of pricey merchandise.
Nikki Brosius says the Boost stores have only been open for a few months and the company is set to open even more locations, but they're already out thousands in repairs and stolen items.
"Over the course of two months, we have had all three of our stores broken into a total of four times. They're coming in through busted glass on the windows and they're taking phones and Bluetooth and things of that nature," Brosius said. "We've been open since Sept 30 at all three locations. We're averaging every other week that the stores are getting broken into."
With the help of Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, Boost Mobile released the surveillance footage and they're calling on the public to help identify and catch the culprits who are getting into the stores by busting out the glass doors and windows with bricks, rocks, and even liquor bottles.
The suspects may think they can make easy money selling the stolen phones on the street, but they won't be able to outsmart technology.
"A cell phone store looks like a good target because they think they can take the cell phones and just sell them out on the street but what they don't realize is that each phone has a unique ESN. By the ESN, we can track the phone so whoever buys the phones or takes them when they get them activated, we can track them down to the location where they activated them," Brosius explained.
Officials don't think the break-ins are connected or that the same people are behind them.
"What they want to do is catch these criminals. The last thing a business wants when they come to a location is to be victimized and have money going out to other things when it could be going into the store to make it better and the customers' experience a lot better," Central Alabama CrimeStoppers Director Tony Garrett said. "Boost Mobile just located here in the City of Montgomery and we would like to help them out."
CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for details that lead to an arrest.
"If the phones are in their possession, we would like to have that information also. Either way, we're paying out $1,000 upon arrest," Garrett added.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Central Alabama CrimeStoppers 215-STOP.
"When you purchase a phone off the street, it could be one of these suspects who stole these phones from the burglaries trying to sell you one. That is a crime. Anytime you're in possession of stolen property, you can also be charged," Garrett added. "If you're going to purchase a phone, try to purchase it the right way at a cellular phone store."
Boost Mobile has increased their security with glass break sensors and they're looking at putting bars on windows.
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