CINCINNATI - Burglars busting in through the roof!
Six weeks before Santa comes down the chimney, thieves are hitting pawn shops across the country, and now in Cincinnati.
By the time officers arrived at Cash America on Reading Road in Bond Hill just after midnight Wednesday, the crooks who cut a hole into the building were gone. Police found a few gold rings they left behind on the roof.
Several pawn shop owners told WCPO more people head to their stores as the holidays draw near.
"[At the] holidays, people need a little more cash," said Gabe Tincher of Ted's Pawn Shop. "Maybe they're looking to get a loan or sell something to buy a Christmas gift for somebody."
But the holidays attract more thieves come, too.
Tincher says his store has the usual security protection.
"There's an officer inside and cameras all around," he said.
You'd think that would be enough, but maybe not anymore.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says robberies at gun and pawn shops have been on the rise across the country
"We have high value items and people know that," Tincher said.
"They think, 'Oh, because they do payday loans they carry a lot more cash on hand," said Rick Diamond at Stan's Pawn Shop. "Maybe they thought they would get to that."
Diamond's security makes a rooftop entry tough.
"Our ceilings are wired, plus motion censored, and I can't imagine today people not having at least motion censors," Diamond said.
"Most pawn brokers take a lot of measures to protect ourselves, protect our stores and also our customers," Tincher said
Police also received false alarms at two nearby pawn shops overnight.
All of those incidents are now under investigation.
If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.