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Saturday burglaries target Ashland merchants

ASHLAND ' Several downtown businesses were broken into over the weekend in what the Ashland Police Department says was a connected string of crimes.

Saturday night's burglary spree was concentrated on the 200 block of East Main where Travel Essentials, Kixx, Green Man Cafe and Bloomsbury Books were broken into, followed later by the Oregon Shakespearean Festival's Bowmer Theater.

According to APD Sgt. Bob Smith, all five burglaries appear to be related.

We believe they went from the east end of town to the west, ending with the theater. Change was dropped in the theater. That money was taken from another store, Smith said, noting the only reported loss to the theater was a broken window.

That store was likely the Green Man Cafe, where the burglar used a crowbar to pry open the main door, according to co-owner and manager Zach Van Buuren.

They took the change from our till and took a stack of plastic sour cream cups, Van Buuren said. According to the police report, approximately &

36;30 dollars was taken from the cafe.

While the Green Man Cafe's losses were at a minimum, the damage inflicted during the robbery at Bloomsbury Books could cost thousands of dollars to repair. They broke about four doors trying to get into the rooms, trying to find money I assume, said Karen Chapman, co-owner of Bloomsbury Books for the last 22 years.

Two neighboring businesses ' Kixx and Travel Essentials ' also noted broken doors. Travel Essentials also lost several hundred dollars in cash.

Despite the number of businesses involved, police believe the crime spree was carried out by a single individual.