A Cottonwood Heights computer store may have been burglarized not once but twice in the same night, according to the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Simply Mac, 1380 E. Fort Union Blvd., had more than $100,000 worth of laptops, iPods and iPhones stolen Wednesday morning. Surveillance video showed a man breaking the glass front doors of the store and squeezing through a security gate at about 4 a.m. before grabbing as much merchandise as he could in four minutes.
Now, investigators believe that the man was actually the second thief to visit the store that night.
While deputies were investigating the 4 a.m. robbery, they discovered a 2-by-2 hole in the drywall of the back room, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak. Investigators believe that, a few hours before the 4 a.m. burglary, someone entered the computer store from an adjacent vacant business by ripping a hole in the wall. Some 46 laptops worth an estimated $100,000 were taken, he said.
Simply Mac vice president of marketing Trish Katos believes the burglary through the drywall was probably committed by more than one person, simply because it would be hard for a single individual to carry that many computers. There also is speculation that the person in the 4 a.m. burglary might have been working with someone, because he was seen in the surveillance video talking to someone on a cell phone.
Whether the two burglaries were related was unknown Friday. Jaroscak said there was no evidence as of Friday that firmly supported a connection.
When the second burglar came later, he took about $6,000 worth of iPhones, iPods and a laptop, Jaroscak said.
The door to the vacant business was believed to be locked that night. Katos said investigators weren't sure Friday how the burglars got inside. Once they were in, however, they seemed to know exactly where to punch the hole. The hole was made in an area leading into the only "unsecured space" of the computer store.
"They might have known all the inner workings of the company," Katos said.
Katos isn't calling it an "inside job," however. She said many potential tenants looked at the store before Simply Mac moved in, and there may have been others who went through the building prior to its opening who got a look at the layout.
In light of the burglaries, Simply Mac has hired people to sit in the store all night as security for both its Salt Lake County and Orem stores. The wall with the hole will be reinforced, she said.Anyone with information on either burglary is asked to call the sheriff's office at 743-7000.