Police in Dodge City and Garden City are investigating a pair of burglaries that took place April 24 at United Wireless stores in both cities that they believe are related.
Garden City police were called at about 7:51 a.m. Thursday about a burglary that took place at about 11:55 p.m. the night before at United Wireless, 1530 Lareu Road, Suite 700, where suspects stole 77 cell phones valued at about $57,400, said Garden City police Sgt. Lana Urteaga.
The burglary in Garden City came about an hour after suspects broke into the United Wireless at 1105 W. McArtor Road in Dodge City and stole 85 cell phones, according to an incident report from the Dodge City Police Department.
Dodge City police say a similar incident occurred in Concordia, where US Cellular and Nex-Tech stores were broken into and mostly Apple products of iPads, iPhones and watches were taken. Dodge City police did not know when the Concordia incident took place.
“The case appears to be part a rash of similar incidents in at least two other cities: Garden City and Concordia,” said Dodge City Police Chief Drew Francis.
After viewing surveillance footage of the incidents at both stores that shows the suspects, as well as their vehicle, police believe the same suspects are responsible for both burglaries. Urteaga said the video shows the suspects using similar equipment and methods to break into the stores and steal the phones.
In the Garden City incident, Urteaga said, suspects used a pry bar to break a window and enter the store, then used a bucket to carry out the phones. She said damage to the property was estimated at $1,000.
According to the Dodge City incident report, "Suspects broke in the side door and went directly to the room where phones were kept and pried the door open. They filled two totes with 66 iPhones and 19 Samsung phones."
According to Dodge City police, the suspects are two males, possibly one white and one black, wearing gloves and hoods and driving a black or dark purple 2009-2014 model Dodge Challenger with a front plate holder with no plate.
Anyone with any information about the incidents can call the Garden City Police Department at (620) 276-1300, and if you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at (620) 275-7807, or text GCTIP and the tip to TIP411 (847411). Or, contact the Dodge City Police Department at (620) 225-8126 or text anonymously by using the tip411 app.
Vincent Marshall of the Dodge City Globe contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the type of crime that was committed. The Dodge City and Garden City police are investigating burglaries at the two United Wireless stores.