Downtown businesses robbed early Monday

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By Carol A. Clark

Several businesses around Central Avenue and Central Park Square were the victims of break-ins early Monday, police report.

Central Avenue Grill, Bella Cosa Flowers Gifts & Events, CB Fox, Fox Kidz, Home Run Pizza and Mountainair Cleaners were burglarized around 2 a.m.

It appears the thief or thieves gained entry into the establishments by breaking glass windows and doors, according to police reports

“I’m so glad they just took the money we had in the cash register and didn’t do any vandalizing,” Bella Cosa owner Karen Hawkins said at the scene.

Hawkins, whose store is at 1743 Central Ave., said they only lost the little cash she had in her register during the burglary.

CB Fox and Fox Kidz are located next door to the flower shop. Owner Dave Fox was eating breakfast when police called to advise him of the break-ins, he said during an interview in front of his store Monday morning.

Chief Wayne Torpy spoke near Bella Cosa Flower’s shattered front glass door saying his detectives are conducting their investigation and hope to apprehend the responsible party quickly.

Central Avenue Grill is at 1789 Central Ave. Owner Min Park and the restaurant’s General Manager Phil Kephart discussed the robbery during an interview outside the rear area of their establishment.

They explained that the robber or robbers broke out window panes in front of the restaurant to gain access. Other than some cash, Kephart said he isn’t sure what else may have been taken.

He and Park discussed whether bottles of liquor or steaks from their freezer were missing.

“I’ll be searching all week to see what else may be missing,” Kephart said.

Home Run Pizza is just around the corner from the four Central Avenue businesses at1627 Central Ave. and Mountainair Cleaners is across the street at 147 Central Park Square.

Det. Doug Johnson is in charge of the investigation. Most of the businesses lost cash and a couple lost merchandise, Johnson said.

Detectives are analyzing evidence and clues obtained at the scene to help determine who committed the burglaries.

“We have two suspects so far and are offering $1,000 through Crimestoppers to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of who ever broke into these businesses,” Johnson said. “Callers can remain anonymous.”

Crimestoppers can be reached at 662-8222.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her blog at www.newsextras.wordpress.com.