Berks

Business owners react to brazen burglaries on Penn Street

VIDEO Business owners react to Penn...

READING, Pa. - As Reading police search for the people who broke into three businesses in center city early Tuesday morning, Carlos Salguero of Russo's Pizza can't help but put himself in his fellow business owners's shoes.

"Well, my concern is if it ever happened to me, I'd be very upset," Salguero said. 

All the more upsetting is how the burglars were able to commit their crimes: not through the front door, but from the roof.  

Dollar Deal Manager Chaten Gosai said surveillance footage shows an individual in his store in the 500 block of Penn Street, and he said the crook got there from the fire escape out back and then through the air-conditioning duct. 

"I seen the people coming through here," Gosai said, pointing to an open A.C. duct inside his store.

Then, the burglar or burglars made their way to Smokes and More. The owner, Asad Mahmood, is still trying to put his business back together. 

"I'm still counting everything," Mahmood said. "They mostly took cash." 

The spree ended at Richie's Bazaar, where owner Deepak Chaughani said he thinks those responsible may have scouted his place beforehand. 

"All three seem to have come from above, through the roof," Chaughani explained.

Now, he's working with his insurance provider to try to replace what was lost. 

"They took a good amount of jewelry," he said.

Reading police remain on the case.

"They found prints. They found some of the items were on the roof. Some of the items these guys had, they had fallen off on the roof," Chaughani shared.

Photographer Arsenio Leonardo was taking pictures for some clients on Penn Street and was taken aback by the news.

"It's pretty crazy, because I never expected that to happen," he said.

As for Russo's owner, Carlos Salguero, he believes the crimes could be solved faster if people with information come forward.

"We should work together with the cops too, ya know? You hear anything or you see anything, tell them so they can work better."

Anyone with information can contact Crime Alert Berks County via anonymous text to 847411, starting the message with keyword alertberks, or by calling 877-373-9913. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.


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