89
      Wednesday
      86 / 65
      Thursday
      86 / 66
      Friday
      87 / 67

      Thieves steal thousands in smart phones, tablets from local Verizon stores

      The break-ins happened over the weekend at Verizon stores in Petoskey and Cheboygan.

      Detectives are now searching for people who broke into two northern Michigan stores and took thousands of dollars worth of electronics.

      The break-ins happened over the weekend at Verizon stores in Petoskey and Cheboygan.

      Between the two stores more than $60,000 worth of cell phones and tablets were stolen.

      Police say the thieves broke in through the back door with a crow bar and within a matter of minutes gathered as much merchandise as they could.

      They only stole phones that were unopened, which means the GPS on the phones hasn't been activated, making it near impossible to track down the phones.

      P olice say these break-ins are very similar to nearly a dozen others around the state and might be part of an organized crime ring.

      "A ll we can do is reinforce our doors, up our security system and now we are going to start putting thin gs in a safe just like a jewelry store would do, apparently this stuff has that much value to th ieves," Justin Micheau, Store Owner said.

      P olice hope that the serial numbers in the phones and tablets will help track down these criminals.

      A t this point it's not clear how many people were involved with the break-ins.