Police departments in Fayetteville and Springdale are beefing up patrols after a series of break-ins at animal service businesses.
The Animal Medical Clinic in Fayetteville is just one of five such businesses broken into this month.
Dr. Michael Mohler, a veterinarian at that clinic, said he got to the office just 15 minutes after the alarm was tripped.
“They kicked the door in and broke out the dead bolt,” he said. “When we got here all the drawers were all pulled out and then we came over here and they found the cash register here and it’s still not actually fixed yet.”
Sgt. Craig Stout with the Fayetteville Police Department said animal clinic break-ins are not very common in Northwest Arkansas.
“With five of them across two cities happening within a short time frame, we are probably going to move under the assumption that they are related,” Stout said.
“This is the first time that I’ve ever been broken into and I can’t ever remember this many clinics being broken into in the 35 years that I’ve been here,” Dr. Mohler said.
Dr. Mohler said he does not understand the burglar’s motive because veterinarian clinics do not keep much cash on hand.
“My first guess would be that they are looking for cash, probably to buy drugs because they were probably not thinking rationally because there are other ways they could have gotten money a lot easier,” said Dr. Mohler.
Dr. Mohler said he is surprised the burglar did not take more.
“They probably would have gotten a lot more in value if they had taken a bunch of the Heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventatives that we have,” Dr. Mohler said. “The money was a whole lot less than what they could have had if they knew what they were doing.”
Springdale police said $250 was stolen when a suspect or suspects broke into Dig My Dog, a pet grooming business, on Dec. 3 at 107 East Robinson Ave. The Davis Animal Hospital on 1430 Carley Road was robbed of more than $100 the next night.
A third business, Springdale Animal Hospital at 2903 W. Huntsville Road, had someone attempt to kick in the front door but nothing was stolen on Dec. 4.
Fayetteville police said they have increased drive-by patrols after veterinarian clinics on South School Avenue and North Market Avenue were broken into in the past week.
If you have any information regarding these incidents, call the Northwest Arkansas Crime Stoppers tip line at (479) 790-TIPS or your local police department.