Thieves target small businesses in Thornton; allegedly siphon gas

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THORNTON, Colo. – Police in Thornton are investigating a string of smash and grab business burglaries.

“I was shaking. I was just like, I can’t believe this happened to us. I felt very violated,” Owner of Crystal Clear Water & Ice, LLC & Snack Shop, Lisa Barrocas said.

A pair of hooded criminals broke into Barrocas’ store. In less than 20 seconds, one suspect swipes candy from the shelves while the other looks for cash.

“What are you going to steal from a water store? Water bottles?” Barrocas said.

Barrocas has been in the purifying water business for nearly two decades. It’s her livelihood. But she was recently hit twice in less than 24 hours in September. In the second case, a man is captured on surveillance video at 8:30 p.m. on September 20th backing his truck into a parking space in front of Barrocas’ store. He grabs a hose from the bed of his truck. He then allegedly drains the gas from her delivery van.

“He crawls underneath the van and cuts the fuel line and siphons my gas,” Barrocas said.

The suspect only got away with a quarter tank, but it caused big problems. Lisa’s husband didn’t find out the line was cut until he went to fill up on the way to deliver water to a wedding.

“He went over to fill up with gas and literally it just started shooting out as he was filling.”

Police say criminals targeted a total of five small businesses near Colorado Boulevard and 120th including the Slavinka Bakery Café.

“We have the cash register all the way pulled out showing that we don’t keep the money overnight. There's nothing, don’t break the door. Don’t waste your time. They still got in,” said the owner of the Slavinka Bakery Café.

For Barrocas, she is hoping someone in the community will recognize the thieves in the video.

“Somebody knows him. And it’s a felony because he cut the actual fuel line.”

Barrocas said the Thornton Business development team just awarded her with an emergency grant to help cover the cost of the broken window and fuel line.

Barrocas got a clear shot of the criminal’s license plate in the first burglary, but when police ran it, it came back stolen.

If you recognize the suspects call Thornton police at 720-977-5150.

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