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New Year's burglaries investigated

Break-ins at Pangea Grills and Wraps, Sister Moon, The — Bead Studio and Houston's Custom Framing were reported at 2:16 a.m. Saturday. — The burglar entered through a storage area above Sister Moon at 268 E. — Main St., then broke holes in the sidewalls of the shop with a large shovel — to enter Houston's Custom Framing and The Bead Studio. The burglar blew — through a between the frame shop and Pangea Grills and Wraps.

"This block has had a history of getting vandalized in — the past five years," said Tom Houston, the owner of the frame shop, which — was broken into several times two years ago. "The little bit of money — we do keep now, we keep it in such a discrete place, they would never — find it."

The burglar stole $600 from the cash register in The Bead — Studio. Joe Smith, the owner of Sister Moon, did not want to disclose — the amount of money taken from his business and the owner of Pangea could — not be reached for comment.

"It's interesting. It's so obvious that people were just — after cash," said Sheila Burns, who owns the building and runs Bloomsbury — Books just down the block. "The other thing is we don't keep cash in here — and I don't think the other businesses will keep cash overnight."

Bloomsbury Books removes all of the money from the cash — registers and leaves the registers open to deter potential burglars.

The break-ins resembled a Dec. 16 burglary at the law — offices of Allen Drescher and JeanneLouise Vintage Clothing and Costumes, — where almost $700 was taken from the cash register at the clothing store. — The burglary occurred overnight when someone entered the law office and — cut a 17-inch hole through the sheet rock wall in the bathroom that opened — into the clothing store after making an unsuccessful attempt to break — through a wood wall.

"These are the ones we really think are connected," Burns — said, explaining holes in the walls are similar to the one found at the — first break-in. "Somebody figured out how to break through the walls."

The burglar attempted to punch a hole between The Bead — Studio and Kixx, a clothing store, but hit a brick wall. Damage estimates — were not available for all of the stores.

Burns and other landlords in the area have talked about — investing a security system for all of the stores on the block to help — combat the repeated break-ins. Although the businesses to have alarms, — the burglar on New Year's Day did not trigger them.

"I think we'll work together to secure all the buildings," — Burns said.

Ashland Police Department detectives working on the case — could not be reached for comment, although Burns reported a footprint — was found at the crime scene.