Police suspect that one burglary and a second attempted burglary in Washington Tuesday are part of a rash of break-ins spanning St. Charles County to Jefferson City. 

Washington Police Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said Moe’s and China King restaurants in Washington possibly were targeted by the same suspect who has broken into ethnic food restaurants recently.

According to Sitzes, the suspect has been peeling away siding from the exterior of businesses and then getting into the building. That is how the suspect attempted to get into China King, he explained, but after removing the siding, the suspect could not get into the building because a sink was in the way.

Police believe it was the same person who broke into Moe’s through a window. The suspect stole two handguns and unsuccessfully attempted to get into the business’s safe, Sitzes stated.

According to Union police, the China King restaurant in Union also was burglarized Tuesday. The suspect broke in through a window and took cash from the business, authorities said.

Union police said there is surveillance video of the burglary and evidence was left at the scene. 

According to Union Police Assistant Chief Rick Neace, there is no definitive link into the two local Chinese restaurant break-ins.  

Sitzes said other police agencies in Eastern Missouri have had similar burglaries where the suspect peeled away siding and entered Mexican and Chinese restaurants.

Although Moe’s does not fit the suspect’s specific agenda, there is evidence collected during the pizza restaurant’s burglary investigation leading police to believe it is the same suspect as other recent burglaries, Sitzes said.

He added that the suspect still is on the loose but authorities in St. Charles County have identified the person.