String of similar bowling alley burglaries across the state, owners wonder if connected

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ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – Enid police are investigating after a Thursday morning burglary at the Oakwood Bowl. The burglars left behind thousands of dollars in damage.

“I just don’t understand it because we try to do nice things for the community, and then to have somebody do this to us, It’s just very heart wrenching,” said Sandy Tate, Oakwood Bowl owner.

The Tate family has owned and operated Oakwood Bowl in Enid for nearly 75 years now, but they never imagined anything like this would ever happen.

“They would lay down on their backs. They both had crowbars. Their faces were covered and they had hats on,” said Jim Tate, Oakwood Bowl owner.

You can see on this surveillance footage from Thursday morning, a pair of burglars slithering through the arcade, breaking into each machine without ever standing up. They gained access to the building by smashing through a side window.

“It was sickening to think that someone would go to all that trouble. Like, get a job,” Jim said.

The Tates said around $2,500 was taken from them, and that’s just in money from the arcade. The suspects caused around $10,000 in damages to the machines and doors.

Across the state, a similar story. This time in Sapulpa on December 30. You can see on surveillance footage the burglar also never stood up during the break-in.

Then, just one day later, again in Cushing – same situation where the burglar army crawled through the bowling alley, stealing as they went.

As for whether the cases are all connected, the owners of Frontier Bowl in Cushing tell News 4 they think so.

And back in Enid, the Tates aren’t dismissing the similarities either.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it is,” Jim said. “I’d like to see their mugshots. See them going to jail. I just hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

While the tactics in all three burglaries appear to be the same, police have still not come out to say that the burglaries are in fact connected.

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