HAVERHILL — Police are investigating whether early morning breaks into two businesses, one of which lost $10,000 in cash, are related.

Police said in one of the breaks, the thieves got in through the roof — a method that was used in several breaks into businesses in Haverhill and elsewhere in the Merrimack Valley just over a year ago.

The rooftop method was also used in a mid-January break into the office of the Touch Free Car Wash, 427 River St. Police found a hole leading to the outside of the building, but they said it appears nothing was taken.

Both of the businesses broken into this week are in the city's Bradford section.

Sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning, Joseph's Trattoria Bakery and Cafe was broken into, said Deputy Chief Donald Thompson.

He said the thieves entered the building through the roof. The office was ransacked but it appears nothing was taken, he said.

Thompson said the Mobil Mart, 789 S. Main St., was broken into early Tuesday morning, and the thieves got away with $10,000. Besides the cash, cigars and cigarettes were taken, Thompson said.

He said the thieves entered the business by prying open a door.

Police are checking to see if the two breaks are connected. Thompson said detectives gathered evidence at the Mobil Mart, but he did not specify what they obtained.

Detective William O'Connell is leading both investigations. Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call the Police Department at 978-373-1212, ext. 503.

Asked if the businesses could have taken steps to prevent the crimes, Thompson said both had adequate security systems.

"It would not be fair to blame the owners," he said.

In the breaks just over a year ago, thieves entered two Haverhill businesses and several others in the Valley through roofs. Cigarettes were among the items taken in those breaks.


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