CLINTON - A string of burglaries between several counties is putting business owners on edge.
"It was eerie to think that someone invaded your privacy." Someone pulled off a smash and grab at her antique shop late last month.
Now police think she wasn't the suspect's only target. A similar break-in happened at Marilyn North's store several weeks earlier. Before that, she'd never dealt with a burglary in 22 years of business.
Now she joins a growing list of others wondering if they'll be hit again.
"Most of the cases within the side of the booth are locked," said North. But locks didn't stop burglars from smashing their way into this display case. It used to be filled with gold and silver coins.
"They were in here a minute and 5 seconds. And they came in here and used a hammer and broke this the second time and went on back out," she said.
She knows this because it was all caught on camera.
"I think they had 'cased' the place before. And that is exactly what they were looking for."
But the extra set of eyes hasn't led to an arrest.
"These are very fast burglaries," said Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider. He's investigating two similar cases of his own. Suspects knocked off a Harley dealership in Forsyth.
"At both locations basically they forced entry by breaking glass and removing items from within, more specifically jewelry," he said. At least five break-ins like these have happened in the past two weeks.
Another similarity besides the burglars' style is the location. All the businesses targeted were along or near Route 51.
"Anytime you're dealing with main thoroughfares unfortunately there's crimes that are committed due to their proximity to a major thoroughfare," he added.
"We do believe that some of these crimes are connected. We do need the public's assistance."
Sheriff Schneider says the public can help by keeping a watchful eye, lookout for people acting suspicious in or around businesses. And most importantly, don't hesitate to call police.