CHARLESTOWN — Police are asking the public to help them solve two business burglaries that took place last week.
The first burglary happened at Emma’s Market & Deli on Old Claremont Road overnight Wednesday Jan. 22 to Thursday Jan. 23, said Charlestown Police Chief Patrick Connors.
The market’s front plate glass window was smashed in and cigarettes and tobacco products were stolen, he said.
Then overnight from Friday to Saturday a hair salon in the same building, Unique Inspirations by Alicia, was broken into and an undisclosed amount of cash was taken, Connors said.
“The same buildings, two nights apart like that is extremely concerning for us,” Connors said. “I think that they are related. I do have some evidence at the scene and some video surveillance I am sifting through that indicates they are related.”
Connors said his department is reaching out to other agencies in the Upper Valley region to determine if the burglaries could be connected to others in the region.
Connors said it is likely an increase in heroin and opiate use is behind a rise in burglaries everywhere; local law enforcement are teaming up to solve the break-ins.
“Right now we’re in an upswing in these types of crime,” he said.
Connors is also advising residents — though they live in a small community — to be vigilant by locking their doors and vehicles and reporting suspicious activity.
“Anytime the public thinks they see something suspicious I would just urge them to call their police department,” he said. “We would rather go and investigate and find out it is nothing than to not get called at all.”
The burglarized businesses are in the middle of a neighborhood area of town where Emma’s Market is a community gathering place.
“It’s a common place for people to gather and have their coffee,” Connors said. “The owner of it is just a great guy, an active member of the community. Just to see him victimized is heartbreaking for us. … When something like this happens in a small community like Charlestown, it’s like the whole community feels victimized.”
Connors said he is asking anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Old Claremont Road neighborhood the nights of the burglaries to report it to Sgt. Todd Lyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 826-5747.