A dog wash, a beauty shop and a florist are among several northern Chatham County businesses that have been burglarized in the last month, and the methodbusting through a window or glass dooris similar to recent break-ins at Chapel Hill stores.

Since early December, several burglaries have occurred at businesses in Cole Park Plaza, Chatham Crossing and Chatham Downs. Max’s Dog Wash and Snack Shack, was burglarized Dec. 16, and again Jan. 3. On his or her first trip, the burglar made off with the cash; the second time, the thief took nothing of monetary valuejust the owner’s sense of security and the out-of-pocket expense of replacing the $320 glass front door.

Over a two-week span, Panda Garden, Farrington Hair Salon, Fancy Nail Spa, Magnolia House Flowers, and The Hop Shop at Carolina Brewery were also burglarized. Three of those businesses ushered in the New Year with a call to police that their business had been busted into.

In Chapel Hill, 21 businesses have been burglarized. Likewise, the intruder breaks through the glass door or window with a crow-bar or rock and heads for the register.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Department has established a task force investigating the burglaries. Chatham County officers have spent most of today visiting northern Chatham County business owners and encouraging them to use the Sheriff Department’s “Business Watch Program.”

Taking a break from his lunch at Panda Garden, Capt. Charles Gardener said police are investigating a suspect.

‘At this time I can not name that suspect, but we are very hard at work on this case,” said Gardener, who recommends small business owners buy a video camera and/or install an alarm system.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words,” he said. ‘Those things are expensive, I know, but it pays off in the long run.”