(WKBN) – Police from different agencies are looking into whether three break-ins at area malls are connected.
The first break-in in the local area happened just before 11:15 p.m. Saturday at the Southern Park Mall.
Our reporter on the scene found doors and windows shattered. Boardman Police Lt. John Allsopp said multiple registers were broken into.
At Eastwood Mall in Niles, there was an attempted break-in at the Macy’s store. The alarm was tripped at 11:45 p.m., but Niles police did not find anything, according to Joe Bell, the director of corporate communications at Cafaro Company.
At 12:20 a.m. Sunday, the alarm at Macy’s was tripped again, and when police arrived, the doors were smashed. No one was there when the officers arrived.
Someone also tried to get into JCPenney at the Eastwood Mall but could not break the door.
Mall officials are coordinating with Niles police on the break-ins.
“It appears that one of the suspects was wearing a red hoodie and the other was wearing what appeared to be a chicken suit,” Bell said, referencing surveillance camera footage.
“It seems it would be more than coincidence if the incidents were unrelated but right now, we don’t have anything other than that they’re relatively the same type of event occurring the same night. To say that they are in fact linked? But it’s a good possibility that they are connected,” said Capt. John Marshall with the Niles Police Department.
Jackson Township police in Stark County also reported a mall break-in at the Macy’s at Belden Village Mall early Friday morning, according to Jackson Twp. Police Major Jim Monigold. The thieves escaped with an unknown amount of money.
Investigators in Niles say they’re working with the mall to view surveillance video and utilizing the department’s new license plate reader system.
“We do have a list of vehicles that we did encounter on the Flock system in that area during the times that would have been maybe relevant to that event,” Marshall said.
Officials from all three police agencies say they’ll be speaking with the investigators from the other departments to see if there are any similarities or other information to connect the break-ins.
“If there is, that’ll definitely point us in a better direction,” Marshall said.
Noelle Haynes, Anna Marsick and Hanna Erdmann contributed to this report.