Thieves smash into more than a dozen businesses

FOX 5 has learned of more than a dozen smash-and-grabs around various parts of Atlanta within the past three days, and Atlanta Police tell FOX 5 the thieves are targeting primarily cash registers and small electronics.

The crimes are part of a growing number of small businesses that have been hit by crews with the same method over the past few months. 

"These are families at stake, They are destroying the community," said Amy Barnes, a manager for Express Cleaners in Grant Park. Police said several other businesses along Memorial Drive were hit in a crime spree, Tuesday morning. 

From Tuesday to Thursday, thieves went to stores throughout the city, from Southeast Atlanta to Buckhead, targeting various small businesses from a cell phone repair business, a shoe store and a waxing salon. 

Although most stores had no merchandise taken, police said the thieves are looking for a quick buck and going after the registers. 

Police said their gang unit has arrested at least ten suspects connected to the crimes, over the past few weeks, and is looking to make more arrests; the challenge, however, is keeping the suspects, often repeat offenders, off the streets. 

"They commit crimes while they're out on bond, while they're out on court hearings," said Sgt. Warren Pickard. 

Businesses look for various ways to step up security, from extra surveillance, to smash-resistant glass and bars on windows.