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Smithfield residents on alert after spike in burglaries

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Police said there has been a spike in commercial burglaries in Smithfield (WTVD)

Police are asking Smithfield residents to be alert after a major spike in burglaries. Officers are stepping up patrols over the next several months and offering a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Authorities believe a small group of people are involved with the burglaries, which have occurred overnight and could possibly be related.

The break-ins have been tough for small business owners in the area. Danny Holt owns Lloyd's Transmission Service on North Brightleaf Boulevard. He said his business has been broken into twice.

Holt said by the time insurance came through for pay for new tools to replace the stolen ones, his business had already been shut down for a week.

A business next door to Lloyd's Transmission Service has also been broken into numerous times. According to a report done by WTSB Radio, crime in Smithfield is up 22 percent during the first five months of 2016 compared to the first five months on 2015. Considering break-ins alone, residential break-ins are up 82 percent this year and commercial break-ins are up 567 percent.

"We got broke into twice in two weeks. [The thief] stole roughly, both times altogether, $14,000 worth of tools and equipment," said Holt. "Even went down and stole stamps out of my desk drawer."

Officers are aware of the statistics and have pledged to do all they can do to turn the numbers around. The police department will have increased patrols in both marked and unmarked vehicles over the next several months. Police are offering a $500 reward for information that helps solve any burglary case in Smithfield.

With information from Mickey Lamm/WTSB Radio

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