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Police suspect thieves hit string of restaurants in Shaler, Hampton

| Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 5:16 p.m.

At least two people likely are responsible for burglaries at three North Hills restaurants early Monday, police said.

Shaler police responding to a burglar alarm from Casey's Family Restaurant along Route 8 at 4:19 a.m. found the rear door damaged where thieves entered.

About an hour before the break-in at Casey's, Hampton police responding to an alarm at Spadafora's Bar and Restaurant along Route 8 found evidence that burglars broke in through a rear door, Hampton Detective Robert Kirsopp said.

A burglary at a third eatery — China Bistro on Route 8 in Hampton — was discovered when the owner came in and found a broken rear door through which burglars entered.

Investigators believe the break-in at China Bistro occurred during the same time frame as the other two burglaries, Kirsopp said.

Thieves took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash registers at each of the restaurants, he said.

“Based on the evidence we've collected, we know that these three burglaries were committed by at least two people,” Kirsopp said. “And we believe the same people were responsible for breaking into these businesses.”

Kirsopp said investigators are reviewing surveillance video and other evidence.

Shaler and Hampton police will compare notes with Ross police to determine whether a burglary at Kretzler's Tavern on Babcock Boulevard is related to the latest break-ins, Kirsopp said.

Ross police are searching for two men who broke in through a rear door at Kretzler's about 2:50 a.m. on Friday and removed from a storage area a small floor safe containing an undetermined amount of money.

Surveillance video at Kretzler's shows most of the face of one suspect and a partial face of the other. The thieves fled in a four-door car.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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