University Square Mall Hit with Multiple Burglaries

Police are investigating a series of burglaries in south Fargo

FARGO, N.D. — As a business owner, this may be one of your biggest fears.

“If someone wants to get in your business bad enough, they’re likely going to get in and there’s not a lot you can do,” said Deputy Chief Joe Anderson.

Walls were torn apart, cash registers were emptied and plaster was thrown everywhere throughout multiple stores at University Square Mall in Fargo.

Just after six a.m., Darren Baumgartner, Owner of Sweeney Cleaners, called police saying someone broke into his business.

Baumgartner soon found out he wasn’t the only one dealing with a messy disaster.

“It seems, at this point, we’ve taken at least seven reports from different businesses in that strip mall that have been burglarized,” said Chief Anderson.

Other businesses include A&A Nails, Elegance Beauty, Wildflowers Salon, Allstate Insurance, Edward Jones and Alterations by L.

“In the University Shopping Mall I’m not aware if they’ve been hit like this before but I know we have had previous strip malls that have been targeted by burglars,” said Anderson.

One business owner says this isn’t the first time a break-in has happened here.

Carrie Johnson, owner of Wildflowers Salon, says a similar burglary happened in her shop back in 2007.

That time, the suspect barged in through the back door.

“I’m hoping the businesses do have video surveillance and if they do, obviously we’re going to want to take a look at that,” said Anderson.

He said it also might be best for businesses to install motion sensor alarm systems so that somebody crawling through a wall like this will be able to get caught.

“When you circumvent the method of entry, you can sometimes bypass alarms. If there’s no motion alarms in a business…those are things to consider and that people may want to look at,” said Anderson.

Some of the stores in the mall were left untouched.

While the businesses were left with significant damage, business owners say they are relieved no one was hurt.

Police have not named any suspects in the vandalism or burglaries.

They say their investigation is ongoing.

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