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'Smash and grab' burglars target National City businesses in overnight spree

'Smash and grab' burglars target National City businesses in overnight spree
Posted at 4:04 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 20:45:11-04

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - Wielding a sledgehammer, a band of burglars struck five different businesses in National City.

At Tacos El Trompo on Highland Ave, just before 3:30 a.m. Thursday, an intruder wearing a hoodie is seen on surveillance video shattering the front door with a sledgehammer.

That intruder, and another one wearing a hoodie, then walk in.

From another camera angle, one of the burglars hops over a counter. The other one joins him and they clean out the cash drawer.

Seconds later, one of them uses the sledgehammer on an office door. They aren’t able to get in through the door, but then break through a nearby window to gain entry into the office. Inside the office, they would find some petty cash.

Minutes later and a few miles away, video show shows three men, one of them with that familiar sledgehammer.

After a thief in red smashes the door of an ice cream shop, the two other thieves are two doors down, smashing their way into California Taco Shop.

Inside, one of them is seen yanking out the cash drawer. Owner Miguel Ruiz later arrived at his restaurant and saw the damage.

“My heart sunk … I was not expecting this at all,” said Ruiz.

The thieves didn't get away with much, but the door will cost $400 to replace.

Ruiz says two other businesses were also hit the same morning with the same MO.

“Just trying to survive these difficult times, and these three people come along … We get hit with this. We’re short-staffed, keep on getting money out of pockets, I guess,” said Ruiz.

Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call the National City Police at 619-336-4411.