Rash of burglaries and break-ins leave Raytown businesses reeling

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Business owners in Raytown are on edge after a series of break-ins the past couple weeks.  At least two businesses were hit during armed robberies, and a handful of others were broken into in the middle of the night.

Elisa Breitenbach now displays a sign in the front of her donut shop.  It lists businesses recently victimized by robbery or break-ins.

"I think if any of us are held at gunpoint, we have a right to know what's going on in our community, and I'm just outraged from it and very disappointed that my own friends, that act like they're my friends, didn't tell me they knew this," said Elisa Breitenbach, Doughboys co-owner.

Tuesday, police released surveillance images of armed robberies at Pizza Hut and Minit Mart that happened last month.  The owner of Omaha Tropical showed us video of a vehicle ramming his store, then coming inside to raid the cash register.  A couple doors down, MaMa China and Lutfi's Fried Fish were hit too.  The crooks also tried to bust into another nearby business but didn't succeed.

"We really hope whoever this person or persons are, they get caught really soon because it's frustrating not being able to work at ease because we're now looking over our shoulders, especially in the evening," said Rita McArn with Lutfi's Fried Fish.

But now there's another business to add to Breitenbach's list.  Raytown Police say this weekend the Easy Pickin Convenience Store was robbed.  A man wearing a hoodie held the clerk at gunpoint before running off with the cash.

"Maybe the system will do nothing about someone coming in here and doing this to me, but you know what, I'll know who it is.  And I believe in divine justice and in my own kind of justice," said Breitenbach.

Her store is full of high-quality surveillance cameras inside and out.  And she's encouraging every local business owner to do the same and to be ready to defend themselves.

"If you're afraid of guns, go out and get wasp spray.  You can easily spray their face and they're going to leave you alone.  You can take off," Breitenbach said.

The Raytown Police Department also insists there are several ways for people in the community to keep tabs on crime.  They even put out this how-to video explaining that.

But the businesses that've been hit and their allies say they'll keep watching out for each other and hoping police will communicate directly with them when these things happen.