An estimated $2,000 worth of sports apparel was stolen from Hibbett Sports just before 1 a.m. Saturday.
Washington police said the burglars broke into the building at 12:54 a.m. Saturday, May 13, by smashing a window on one of the doors with a large rock. Once inside, numerous Nike items were taken from the store.
Washington Police Detective Betsey Schulze said the crime lasted a matter of minutes. She said the list of stolen goods is still being compiled, but early estimates indicate at least $2,000 worth of merchandise was taken.
With the amount of items taken, the short duration of the crime and the way the building was accessed, Schulze said she believes police are looking for more than one suspect.
Schulze said just five minutes elapsed between the time officers got the call and arrived on the scene. The suspect or suspects had fled the area before officers arrived.
Once police arrived, officers discovered the burglars used a large rock weighing at least 30 pounds to break the bottom half of the window on one of the Hibbett’s doors. The door was still locked, meaning whoever entered the building had to crawl in through the broken window.
Schulze said the thieves had a “specific intent” and went directly to the Nike items. Other items were ignored. Some Under Armour shorts may have been taken as well, but the target seems to have been Nike apparel.
Schulze said sporting goods stores in the area have been the target of these “smash and grab” cases. In late March, police investigated an attempted burglary at Hibbett and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Neither of the attempts were successful and no items were taken from the stores, police said. On March 24, officers responded to an alarm at Hibbett just before 1:30 a.m. Police said it appeared the attempted burglar was cutting a hole in the glass in an effort to gain entry into the store.
Police found the first pane of the store’s double-pane window had been damaged. The second pane was still intact when the alarm sounded.
Two days later, police found similar markings on the glass at Dick’s. Police said the first pane was damaged and there were scratches on the second pane.
Police were told late last year about an increase of burglaries at sporting goods stores in the St. Louis area. Schulze said Washington officers were told to be on the lookout for burglars breaking in and stealing high-priced items like North Face apparel.
Because of the warning, Hibbett requested extra patrols during the month of December. No burglaries were reported during that month.
Dick’s has taken measures to block its entrance after closing the store each night, police said.
Anyone with any information on the burglary can call police at 636-390-1050.