The second computer-related burglary in two weeks has left Wylie's Copy Center owner Wylie Wilson shaking his head.
"They stole programs and a bunch of stuff," he said, looking at the wreckage he discovered Monday. "In the last 20 years of operating this is the first (and second) time we've been hit."
But Wilson's business is not the only one targeted during a recent string of high-tech thievery.
Ten commercial break-ins and seven computer-related thefts have been reported in Carson City over the past couple weeks, leaving business owners trying to cope and investigators chasing scant leads.
All the break-ins, which include government offices, are believed to be related, said Chief Sheriff's Deputy Scott Burau. He added that clues are being processed as part of an ongoing investigation.
This weekend, Charles Kitchen Realty and Wylie's Copy Center were forcibly entered. Workers arrived Monday to discover the missing computers.
In the two thefts at the copy center, several thousand dollars worth of computer hardware and software was taken, Wilson said. There was also evidence that the thief or thieves rummaged through drawers and pried open a cash register.
Wilson said his business was targeted for the random access memory chips inside the computers. In two of the cases, the computers were physically opened and the memory removed. Because the high-tech operation uses graphics extensively in its work, the computers were customized with high memory capacity.
Another computer, which operates a digital copier, was taken during the heist.
"We just want people to know that this is happening," he said. "We lost a lot of money and a lot of work."
Since the last break-in, reported on Feb. 14, Wilson had a light installed outside a broken side window, a measure that proved to be futile. "If they want something, they're coming in," he said. "That's the way I look at it."
Other businesses targeted in the break-ins include: Capital Reporters at 711 North Walsh St.; Rhonda's Floral Gallery at 611 East Johnson St.; Stokes & Winters attorneys at 801 North Division St.; a doctor's office and the Public Defender at 501 East Robinson St. and the Brewery Arts Center at 449 West King St..
A postage meter machine was stolen from the State Agent and Transfer Syndicate Inc. at 318 North Carson Street.
Deputies are also linking a vehicle burglary in the 500 block of West College Parkway and an attempted break-in at the Ormsby Association for Retarded Citizens at 4611 Goni Road.
People with information on the cases are encouraged to call Carson City sheriff's investigators at 887-2020 ext.1400.