String of Douglas County burglaries hits home for fruit stand owner

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Four years' worth of family photos were stolen Wednesday when three male burglars broke into Lisa Bee's fruit stand in Douglas County. 

The photos were saved on a Mac laptop. They also stole $1,250 in cash and an iPhone 6S. 

"I just really want my computer returned," the fruit stand owner, Lisa Stanton, said. "That's really the only thing that's irreplaceable to me." 

The break-in is one of six burglaries in the last week Douglas County sheriff deputies are investigating.

Both homes and businesses have been targeted, with the suspects stealing liquor, cash, medication, computers and more, while causing damage and vandalizing property. 

Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal says there are no real ties between all six burglaries, except that some of them have occurred in the same neighborhoods. 

He says the spike in burglaries is not normal for the typically safe community.

"We normally don't get spikes in burglaries like that," he said Thursday. "We have burglaries, but a bunch of them in a short time just really is not usual." 

The fruit stand sits just 150 feet from Stanton's home. 

"I'm just so thankful they didn't come over to our house," she said. 

Her baker was the first to discover the burglary early Wednesday morning. The business door was wide open, so the baker woke Stanton up at her home next door. 

"It honestly could have been much worse," Stanton said. "It could have been a total loss for us."

She's offering a $500 reward for the return of her cherished family photos. A family friend matched her offer.

Stanton went on Facebook Live to express her disappointment. 

The business had to close Wednesday and Thursday, but Stanton said they'll reopen on Friday. She had to overnight ship new point-of-sale equipment and get repairs to wi-fi and power equipment, which were ripped out by the burglars. 

According to a sheriff's office news release, two male burglars were spotted backed up to a storage shed at a church last Friday. When they noticed someone watching them, they fled the scene. 

The other burglaries were reported at residences in Douglas County. In one incident, they forced their way through a back door. In a different incident, they entered an unsecured garage, the sheriff's office said. 

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is asking for reports of any suspicious activity. If you have information about the crimes, contact the sheriff's office at 509-884-0491 or 509-663-9911 after hours.

© 2017 KING-TV


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