Three businesses were broken into over the weekend at the Southern Park Mall in Boardman.

In at least one case, the safe was cracked and thousands in cash stolen.

One store manager believes it may be the work of professionals. 

It was sometime Saturday night into Sunday morning when the three businesses, including one restaurant at the Southern Park Mall, became the victims of money hungry thieves.

Boardman Police Detective Chad Dorn tells 21 News, "It was sometime overnight.  They did force entry to each of the stores through the rear doors.  We can't discuss the method, but we do have information."

It's estimated the thieves stole approximately $4,100 in cash from the three businesses, including at least $3,000 by cracking the safe at Sarku of Japan.

The theft was discovered at the restaurant at about 9:40 a.m. Sunday morning and the manager of the restaurant told the detective the office door was pried open, the security system and computer were damaged, and there were pry marks on the safe as well as the door.

Boardman Police are hoping to recover surveillance video, but in the case of Sarku of Japan, the manager says while they have surveillance cameras, he doesn't know if any footage was captured.  That's because the equipment was also damaged.

While interviewing the manager at the restaurant two other businesses alerted police they were also victims.

Both Journey's and Zumiez sustained damage and financial loss as a result of break-ins at the Southern Park Mall.

But what's unusual is we questioned if three stores at the mall had ever been hit at the same time before?

"Not to my knowledge at least not recently," Detective Dorn said.

The store manager at Zumiez told me by telephone that the suspect broke their back door and even broke their cash register by unscrewing it off the hinges.  

Detectives say some evidence has been recovered.

Mall management did not respond to a request for comment.