Police investigate string of smash and grab burglaries in Polk Co.

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA)—Multiple agencies are investigating a series of smash and grab burglaries that happened in Polk County overnight.

Shortly after 1 a.m., a group of masked suspects hit three businesses at a shopping center in Haines City, busting out windows at Golden Dragon Chinese Food, Luke’s Legendary Pizza, and a Verizon store.

Then police believe they hit two more businesses in Polk County, the Citgo at 20500 Hwy 27, Lake Wales, at 1:44am, and then the Sunoco at 19300 Hwy 27, Lake Wales, at 1:48am.

Last, the suspects hit a T-Mobile store in the city of Lake Wales.

Haines City police believe they hit all six businesses in about an hour, most of which were along U.S. 27.

According to police, the suspects grabbed cell phones, cash and tobacco products.

Haines City Interim Police Chief Jim Elensky said various departments responded to the businesses within minutes of the alarms sounding, but the suspects were already gone.

An officer running radar along U.S. 27 clocked a car going 110 mph around 2:30 a.m. but when he attempted to pursue them, the driver turned off their lights, making a pursuit unsafe.

The same car was seen on surveillance at one of the burglaries.

Investigators tell News Channel 8 the suspects got on I-4 and headed east towards Orlando.

“These thugs are coming from Orlando and ripping our hard-working business owners,” Chief Elensky said.

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