Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier Plywood covers the front door of Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop and a front window at Kaya Threading Salon where a thief or thieves broke into the businesses last week. In both cases, the cash register was taken.

Smash-and-grab burglaries that occurred at two adjacent Village Court businesses last week may be related to a third burglary at another Los Altos business across town, a police spokesman said Tuesday (Aug. 6).�

A thief or team of thieves broke into Edward’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop and Kaya Threading Salon, both located in suites at 4546 El Camino Real, between 7 p.m. Wednesday (July 31) and 6:30 a.m. Thursday (Aug. 1), said Sgt. Steve Spillman of the Los Altos Police Department. In each case, the cash register and the cash inside the business was taken. Edward’s lost $150 and the salon lost $869.

Spillman said it’s not unusual for thieves to steal cash registers.

“Rather than the criminal trying to pry it open there, they’ll take it and do it someplace else,” Spillman said.

Detectives believe the burglaries may have taken place at approximately 5 a.m. Thursday thanks to the time stamp from surveillance video at Coffee Drive Up, 999 Fremont Avenue, where a similar crime occurred, Spillman said. The take at that business ­– including the value of the register ­– was approximately $2,000.

Debbie Morton, the owner of Edward’s Pipe and Tobacco, said the thieves broke into her business by smashing the glass panels of her front door. She described the perpetrators as “creeps.”

“It’s an old wood door, so it had a piece on top and a piece on the bottom,” Morton said. “And since they couldn’t get through the top, they did the bottom one and came in and grabbed the register, yanked it off the counter, broke one display that we had sitting there, and then ran out the door.”

The shop subsequently reopened despite a boarded-up door scheduled for repair this week.