Wichita Police ask for help identifying pawn shop thieves

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Four break-ins in a week have left a pawn shop in Wichita out more than $6,000 after burglars stole merchandise and damaged property.

It happened the week of June 23 at the A-OK Pawn and Jewelry near South Oliver and East Harry Street. Now police and the store manager are asking for the community’s help identifying the suspects.

Two of the burglaries involved one male suspect and police have made an arrest in that case. But it’s the other two break-ins by a group of three suspects that police are trying to locate.

Video surveillance on Sunday, June 23 around 1:40 a.m. show a group of three breaking into the A-OK Pawn shop on South Oliver and heading straight for the knife case.

“Actually took every knife that we had in stock,” said Marc Garcia, store manager.”

Garcia said they also took electronics, phones and really anything they could get their hands on quickly in the three to four minutes they were in the store.

“A lot of the items that are really easy to sell fast,” said Garcia.

Five days later, the group came back around 1 a.m. for more. This time, they took items from the store’s layaway area. Items that customers were making payments on.

“They’ll get full refunds or gift cards to buy something else,” said Garcia. “Obviously it’s not our customers fault when something like that happens.”

Police and Garcia believe it is the same group to strike twice due to the bright green suitcase they used to carry the stolen items both times.

Garcia is thankful the thieves didn’t steal any of the items used for customer loans. He’s also thankful for the witnesses who called police the second time the thieves broke-in. It helped police respond quickly.

Surveillance video shows the burglars dropping the green suitcase and a black backpack trying to run from police.

“They chased them away but they didn’t catch them,” said Garcia.

Garcia estimates around $5,000 in goods were stolen but replacing the doors and windows the thieves broke to get in, sets the store back at least another $10,000.

“You know that’s something that we have to get fixed and have to eat that cost and still be able to provide a service to our customers,” said Garcia.

Garcia said they are looking into hiring a security guard and installing burglar bars.

If you have any information in this case, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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