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4 suspects seen on camera breaking into Highland restaurant

At least one Denver business had their windows smashed overnight-- the same week several businesses were targeted by thieves in Arvada, Littleton and Denver.

DENVER — Denver Police responded to an alarm overnight at a Mexican restaurant in the Highland neighborhood, an officer told 9NEWS.

When they arrived, they found the windows of La Mexicana Taqueria, located near 32nd and Zuni had been shattered. Officers were unable to get in contact with the restaurant owner, an officer at the scene told 9NEWS reporter Liz Kotalik. That officer said police boarded up the windows.

Security cameras inside the restaurant captured the glass flying everywhere when the suspects shattered the front window. Shortly after, two people climb inside through the busted window.

"I think what bothered me the most, we're trying really hard to service our customers and it just makes it difficult to do that when there's just a broken window in the middle, " owner Alejandra Hernandez said.

Her family has owned the restaurant for decades.

"And then cleaning up the glass, the glass reached from that window all the way to this bar. We had to throw away food we had to call in our employees early to cook everything from scratch," she said.

The suspects outside the restaurant

Hernandez told 9NEWS Friday afternoon that the suspects left the restaurant when the alarm sounded and did not take anything. She estimated though that the damage to the restaurant is several thousand dollars.

"How could somebody so heartless do this? It's somebody's home," said Hernandez fighting back tears. "I don't know why someone would do that."

Security footage from the restaurant showed at least four suspects wearing dark hoodies outside the restaurant early Friday morning. They can be seen using rocks to break the window.

One suspect is inside the restaurant as second suspect climbs in through the broken window.

RELATED: 15 businesses targeted in smash-and-grab break-ins across Littleton, Denver and Arvada

Early Thursday numerous Arvada businesses were targeted by thieves who also used landscaping rocks to smash the windows, police said in a news release. That same morning, two suspects broke into Cake Crumbs bakery at 2216 Kearney St. in Denver around 3:30 a.m.

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, six businesses were hit in the Littleton area, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

Denver Police said in total, there have been about 100 smash-and-grabs in the metro area since the summer.

While several different groups are responsible for the break-ins, Denver Police in each case the suspects arrive at small businesses in stolen cars in the middle of the night, then use rocks to break windows or pry tools to open doors and enter those businesses.

When 9NEWS asked if the Arvada cases and the most recent smash-and-grab at La Mexicana Taqueria are connected, a division chief with Denver police said, “there’s reason to suspect they are linked.”

DPD said it’s analyzing video and data to try and make arrests.

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