Two Franklin auto shops burglarized; $500 taken

Two Franklin auto repair shops were burglarized overnight Wednesday, and more than $500 was stolen.

Now, police are investigating whether the two burglaries may be connected to each other, as well as to other auto shop burglaries this summer, Franklin Police Department Detective Sgt. John Borges said.

A security alarm went off at Spears Auto Parts, 51 W. Monroe St., about 12:45 a.m. The owners found the front of the store in disarray and a piece of plywood covering a window had been removed, according to the Franklin police report.

More than $500 was stolen from the cash register, and the keys to the store’s safe were taken, the report said. Business checks might have been taken from the store.

Another burglary took place the same night at Newkirk’s Auto Service, 151 S. Main St., about a block away from Spears.

Thieves entered through an overhead door, which had a glass panel pushed in, the police report said. A large painting was stolen from a wall, and the license and first dollar the store owner ever made were stolen from a picture frame in the shop.

The cash register drawer was moved, but no cash was left inside, so the thief or thieves only got away with about $10 in quarters, the police report said.

Police officers are following up on several leads and getting security footage from nearby buildings, Borges said.

Police are investigating whether other similar burglaries at auto parts stores, including at Bleke’s Tire and Tune Up, in the past two months could be connected to the most recent break-ins, Borges said.