Burglars cut hole in wall in Verizon store theft


Investigators are looking for brazen burglars who cut a hole through a sheetrock wall to get into a Waconia Verizon store back room.

The thieves made off with electronics including cellphones, an iPad and cash, Carver County Sheriff's officials said. Surveillance video inside the nail salon captured one thief during the 2:30 a.m. Monday burglary, and investigators are hoping that helps lead them to suspects in the case.

It's not clear how many were involved in the heist, but Carver County investigators reference "burglars."

The thieves demonstrated a little planning. Initially, they broke into the nail-and-spa salon next door by prying open a rear door, investigators say. They then went up into the ceiling, crawling over a common wall and dropped down into the Verizon Wireless store at 716 Vista Blvd.

Officials did not detail how the burglars cut a hole in the wall to gain access to the Verizon storeroom.

The sheriff's office press release notes that the crime scene was processed by crime technicians, but no details were released on what they gathered.

Anyone with information is asked to call Carver County investigators at 952-361-1212.

Cellphone theft and 'kill switches'

Nationwide, cellphones remain a hot target for thieves because the devices can be quickly turned into cash, CNBC noted.

About 3.1 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, according to a survey released in April by Consumer Reports.

Consumer advocates are hopeful that "kill switch" technology, which allows a phone to be remotely deactivated so that it would no longer work anywhere in the world, will deter cellphone thieves.

Apple introduced a kill switch to its iOS 7 in September last year and, according a New York Attorney General's report, iPhone thefts have dropped as a result, Forbes noted.

Legislation mandating kill switches is pending in Congress.

In May, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a state “kill switch” bill, making Minnesota first in the nation to require smartphones and tablets sold in the state to have remote shut-off devices. The measure takes full effect in 2015, but advocates are hoping the wireless industry will make the technology updates sooner.

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