A series of burglaries, right in the middle of downtown, left locksmiths repairing locks and doors throughout 500 Main Place — an old bank building turned office center at the corner of fifth and main.
According to the Newton Police Department, nine different offices in the building were burglarized overnight Dec. 11.
"They were looking for cash," said Lt. Scott Powell with the Newton Police Department. "They were rifling through desks and taking any money they could find. They did not take anything else."
In the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce office, which was having doors repaired on the afternoon of Dec. 12, there were more than $100 in "Chamber Checks" out on the director's desk during the burglaries. Those gift certificates were left untouched. Thieves left computers, checkbooks and cell phones untouched.
"They wanted cash," said Pam Stevens, director of the Newton Area Chamber of Commerce. "This is an uneasy feeling, like someone has gone through all of your stuff. I think it was one of those random things."
According to RAIDS online, there have been 72 burglaries in Newton this year — of those 19 were commercial.
Police found no evidence of forced entry into the building, though did not know if the thieves hid in a bathroom at closing time or found an unlatched door that allowed them to get into the building. Once inside, thieves forced their way into offices and damaged doors inside.
"There are a lot offices to go through, they took their time," Stevens said.
In most cases, damage to the office door was more expensive than what was taken.
"Most of it was $60 or so," Powell said. "Most of them the damage to the door was more than what they got out of there. A lot of them the damage to the door was it. ="
Powell would not give a total of how much was taken, saying only that in one case the amount of cash was "a decent amount." Investigators are still adding to the reports of theft and losses.