Cleveland needs to get a handle on smash and grab problem

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - You know, not that many things happen 50 times in the space of a year.

Yeah, the Cavs will probably top 50 wins, but you probably won't get 50 paychecks or even get snowed on 50 times.

We're nearing 50 smash and grabs in the Cleveland area. That's criminals smashing through the fronts of stores in an attempt to knock loose an ATM and take off with the money inside. So what do we do?

There aren't any easy answers, but there are some things we can do. The ATMs need to be bolted to floors and walls – away from the front of the store.  Concrete barricades in front of stores and even surveillance cameras are good ideas. They could also put GPS tracking devices inside the ATMs.

Now the city wants to look into these types of regulations, but all of it is going to cost money and the store owners – some of whom are already barely making a living – say they can't afford to pay for it. But this isn't just about broken glass and lost money. Sometime somewhere it's going to be about lives.

There are probably going to be some public hearings soon – and it's a conversation that's well overdue. For the criminals, it's all about the grab, but sooner or later the smash is going get someone killed.

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