The string of break-ins in Lansford ramped up a notch this week when someone broke into and ransacked the borough hall and the American Fire Co. No. 1 station at 26 East Patterson St.
According to borough police officer Chris Ondrus, the burglar(s) entered through the back door of the breezeway of the fire station sometime overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. Both the first and second floors were found in disarray, including the borough office and the fire company meeting room upstairs, and the first floor engine room.
"We're doing an inventory and checking to see if anything's missing," he said. "We're still gathering information."
State police from the Hazleton barracks are helping with the investigation.
The break-in is the latest in a string of burglaries in the borough, and police are urging residents to call 911 to report any suspicious activities or noises.
The rash of break-ins includes homes and businesses. Between Jan. 5-6, Frank Gustus's barbershop at 114 W. Ridge St. was burglarized. The burglar(s) pried the mail slot apart to gain entry through the front door. The shop was ransacked and about $40 in change was stolen. The surrounding area was checked and a pair of blue examination gloves was found across the street.
Several more break-ins were reported over the weekend of Jan. 9-10. Burglar(s) smashed the window panel in the front door to enter Fred Johnson's paint store at 31 W. Ridge St. The actor(s) rummaged through the store and stole cash and change.
Burglar(s) also hit Porvaznik's Flowers, at 42 W. Ridge St., entering the shop through a smashed side window and making off with $600 cash.
Emil's Barbershop, 4 E. Ridge St. also was entered. Police said the owner's brother saw someone inside the shop, and a male wearing a black hoodie ran out the front door and fled. Some residents in the area said they heard glass breaking, but did not call police.
Another recent break-in was reported at 46 E. Water St. Homeowner Paul Kadlecik told police that somebody entered his house through a basement window between 2:30 p.m. and midnight Jan. 12. The burglar(s) pried open an outer basement window, removed a single pane of glass, cut the screen and manipulated the lock to get in. The burglar(s) stole a loaded .357 Ruger, a safe-deposit box and an 6- to 8-inch Winchester hunting knife.