CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - At least 16 local businesses were broken into overnight Monday, in just a matter of hours. Investigators in Charlotte, Matthews, and Union County are all on the case.
One business hit was the Crepe Bistro.
"It's a family-owned business. We've been opened for one month and a half," said Julia Watson, who owns and operates the business with her husband. "They only took 20 dollars in the tip jar in cash and that's just about it."
Cameras caught two suspects in the act. Next door at Tony's Pizza, the same crime occurred. Manager Sam Tlezl caught the smash-and-grab from several angles. He said once the thieves got in, the whole crime only took about 38 seconds.
"He got the big rock, threw it in the window, broke it out and came in," Tlezl said.
Several businesses were also targeted in Union County. Among them was Jacks Pizza Palace and Subway.
Investigators say they were looking for coins, currency, and tip jars.
Phillip Swain, who picked up lunch from one of the violated businesses, describes the string of break-ins as disturbing.
"Coming here and seeing three businesses broken into is, like, baffling," he said.
"Especially in this area," said Watson. "It's a good developing area, and now this happens."
The Union County Sheriff's Office says there could as many as four suspects traveling in a single group that are responsible for these crimes.
Anyone with information should call police immediately.