Howard county police are warning small business owners across the county against leaving money in cash registers overnight in the wake of 12 break-ins since January.
Instead, small business owners are encouraged to deposit their money at a bank or leave it somewhere else, police said.
Usually a small amount of cash, whatever is left in the registers, is stolen during the break-ins, police said.
The burglars seem to strike businesses overnight between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m., police said. They usually gain entry by twisting off locks and removing them from the front doors. Most of the targeted businesses have not been equipped with alarms and are in strip centers.
Six of the burglarized businesses have been dry cleaners, police said. And six of the burglaries have occurred on Wednesdays.
The most recent burglary occurred between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, at All Seasons Pool at the Cherry Tree Shopping Center, police said.
The first break-in occurred between Jan. 9 and Jan. 10 at Vance's Shoe Repair in the 8400 block of Baltimore National Pike, police said. Since then six dry cleaners, a florist, a bagel store, a bedroom outlet and a pub, have been burglarized.