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Authorities investigating string of weekend burglaries across Lancaster County

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, P.A. --- Nine businesses, eight of them restaurants, saw unwanted visitors early Sunday morning.

Burglaries in Manheim Township and East Petersburg caused damage ranging from $100 to $5,000.

"Based on the time frame, the location and the manner in which the burglaries occurred, we do believe that they are, most likely, going to be related," said SGT. Michael Piacentino with the Manheim Township Police Department.

Here is a full list of the businesses police say were involved:
- 1575 Manheim Pike – Saigon Café (MT) – $720.00 loss.
- 1577 Manheim Pike – Dream Dinners (MT) - $419.57 loss.
- 1917 Fruitville Pike – Neato Burrito (MT) - $5,017.92 loss.
- 1961 Fruitville Pike – Sushi One (MT) - $130.00 loss.
- 2023 Miller Road – Mad Chef (EP) - $100.00 loss.
- 5513 Main Street – China III (EP) - $300.00 loss.
- 5503 Main Street – Belly’s BBQ & Burrito (EP)- $100.00 loss.
- 5507 Main Street – Philadelphia Hoagie (EP) - $100.00 loss.
- 5515 Main Street – Costello Builders (EP) - Total loss unknown.

Piacentino said the early morning time of the burglaries has left them without witnesses.

Their only help came from a surveillance image from Mad Chef Craft Brewing in East Petersburg that shows two people inside.

Piacentino said they're relying on intelligence from partners in the State police and FBI to try and form a travel route.

"When this happens, when it comes into an area, it hits and then it goes...It's normally part of something bigger than just a couple of guys from the local area. It's usually something that's representing a larger ring," said Piacentino.

Luckily, authorities say the majority of the businesses were well secured, rendering the burglaries unsuccessful.

One such restaurant, Belly's BBQ and Burrito in East Petersburg, had their back door handle snapped but the burglars never gained entry.

"It looked like they just went door to door, snapped handled off and then moved to the next and if it opened, they went in," said owner Tim Brandt.

Brandt also said Belly's has an alarm system but they plan on adding surveillance cameras following this incident.

A move Gargano's Pizzeria and Deli made when they suffered a break in over a decade ago.

"If you dont lose money, you're going to be spending money and that's what makes it really less than acceptable," said Melanie Gargano.

"They could take a dollar but cost you $2,000 in damage," added Joe Gargano.

While they weren't hit by this past weekend's sting, they said it still serves a sobering reminder.

"I feel bad for them but, at the same time, we'll just make sure that we're very alert and vigilant," said Joe Gargano.

Authorities say they do not believe this was an inside job due to the amount of businesses involved.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police.