Mount Shasta has been experiencing a high number of burglaries and thefts over the past two weeks, and the police department is asking the community to be alert.

Four downtown businesses and numerous vehicles have been struck since mid-June, said MSPD chief Parish Cross.

Sometime on the night of Sunday, June 20 or in the early hours of Monday, June 21, suspects pried open the rear door of Poncho & Lefkowitz and took the cash register containing a small amount of cash. They also entered Petals flower shop through an unlocked window and took candy bars and a small amount of money, Cross said.

The following week, sometime between Sunday, June 27 and Monday, June 28, suspects gained entry to Mt. Shasta Trading Company and Burger Express. In both instances, the suspects searched the premises and took a small amount of cash, as well as other valuables.

Keith Towlen, owner of Poncho & Lefkowitz, said the incident has made him wary.

He’s been in business for over 20 years with no problems. In the past year, however, he’s been broken into twice. “It’s really sad,” he said.

Cross said numerous vehicles, most of them unlocked, have also been burglarized at various locations in town. Items such as sunglasses, GPS systems, car stereos and CD players were taken.

“The public needs to be aware of what’s going on, and they need to be sure to secure their cars,” Cross said.

Towlen’s business, along with Petals and Burger Express, had been broken into during a string of burglaries that occurred in Mount Shasta in September and October of 2009.

The MSPD, with the help of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department, was able to solve those cases and eventually arrested three individuals.

After those arrests, the burglaries stopped.

This time around, Cross said the department has several quality leads that officers are following up on. The MSPD is currently working with the Weed Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department, as similar thefts have occurred recently in Weed and McCloud.

The MSPD urges anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious, especially during hours of darkness, to immediately call dispatch at 926-7539.