Police catch a break in East Spokane business burglaries

The burglar behind multiple business break-ins in East Spokane may be getting sloppy. Detectives found evidence from previous burglaries inside the latest break-in at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in West Spokane.

The church break-in is part of a rash of burglaries in downtown Spokane in recent weeks. First, Peters & Sons Florist was burglarized twice in six days and then Wednesday morning four businesses near Sherman and 2nd were broken into.

?I kinda thought it wasn?t going to happen to us, because we?re right here on the arterial,? Jim Curran, owner of Something Else Deli, said.

Something Else Deli was one of the four businesses hit in the same early-morning hours. Empire Dance, Cosmopolitan Beauty Supply and Wishing Star, a group that grants wishes for terminally ill children, were also hit by the brazen burglar.

At the Deli, Curran says the burglar climbed an iron fense with sharp points at the top, moved a refrigerator, broke a small window and somehow slipped inside. The burglar, Curran thinks motivated by cash, didn?t make off with much.

?Some pennies, because we never though it was important to take the pennies out of the drawer,? Curran said.

The burglar also grabbed some Canadian money Curran keeps near the till ? he says it?s too difficult to try and get the loonies and toonies exchanged for American money.

Down the street on Sherman, Wishing Star and Empire Dance had their windows smashed by a large rock. When the burglar reached Cosmopolitan Beauty Supply, the alarm sounded and he ran off.

Businesses are having a hard time understanding how one person can get away with so many burglaries along a busy street without getting caught.

?I assume the individual?s a druggie probably, only seem to be interested in like I assume they think they?re looking for money,? Curran said.

Officer Jennifer DeRuwe with the Spokane Police Department says despite their property crimes unit being dissolved, they?re focusing all their energy on solving these cases.

?You still have patrol officers that are out on the street, you still have various detective units that are trying to pick up the cases that they can and do that investigation,? Officer DeRuwe said.

In fact, the detective work is paying off because Wednesday night?s burglary at Lady of Lourdes Cathedral may lead to the burglar. Inside the church, detectives found stolen items from Wishing Star, Something Else Deli and Empire Dance. The evidence is being dusted for fingerprints.

There are no surveillance cameras in any of the businesses in East Spokane that were hit by the burglar. Owners say as a small business, they can?t afford a costly security system. They?re hoping somebody saw something and will call Crime Check at 456-2233.