JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Someone went to great lengths to steal hundreds of dollars from several Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Departments in Region 8.
Just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, Officer Gary Jackson responded to a commercial burglary at two of the highway department's offices, located at 3202 Commerce Dr in Jonesboro.
District Manager Rick Hale said someone entered one office, cut the locks off of several filing cabinets, and stole a coffee can containing approximately $500 in change.
The culprit also cut the lock off of a cabinet in the other office to remove a cash box, then pried it open and stole about $50.
During his investigation, Jackson discovered the chain link fence on the east side of the property had been cut and pulled back to allow entry. The fence on the north side of the office had also been cut in a similar fashion
Jackson stated in his incident report that a set of bars had been unscrewed and removed from a window, which was then broken to allow entrance into the office.
A similar situation took place at the office in Paragould located at 205 West Monroe Street.
Anthony Williams with the department told police Tuesday evening, someone broke into the business and took around $100 out of a change bag.
Williams also stated they had a change box containing $70 taken.
According to a Paragould Police Dept. incident report, the suspect or suspects entered the building through the back door. The fence had been cut in the front yard and a chain that was on a gate next to the department had been cut.
Jack Hailey, a detective with CID, said he believes both burglaries are connected.
"I don't think this is a coincidence," said Hailey. "Talking with some of the guys we learned that Lawrence County was hit and Bald Knob. I just think it is a bit of a strange place to go to steal money from."
Hailey said all of the departments are collaborating on this investigation and that he hopes the culprits are found soon.
"I hope pretty quick we get something together and all of us can swap information back and forth and get this person or persons picked up and get this money back to the highway department," said Hailey.
Hailey added that if you have any information regarding the burglaries, call your local police departments.
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