Last week, we reported that area Police and Sheriff's Departments are seeing an uptick in commercial/business break-ins since the COVID shutdowns.

But now area authorities are reporting even bigger spikes than first expected. Kennewick Police say the number of business burglaries has tripled. That's a 66% increase.

That includes the break in at Hole In The Wall gun store and firing range Wednesday morning.

Due to the COVID shutdown, dozens if not hundreds of businesses, especially smaller operations, are closed.  Many of these owners don't have the resources for extra security, although most have security and video systems that are pretty good.

But that doesn't necessarily prevent burglaries. They're helpful in catching the suspects, but unless alarm systems are tied to security response, often suspects get in and out.

Police say they're running maximum patrols day and night to try to curb this trend. Although fewer people are out on the streets, and police DO rely on tips from the public, officials say that can actually make it easier to spot or notice people lurking around or trying to access buildings or storefronts.

And of course, people are reminded if they see something that obviously looks suspicious, to call police immediately.  Officers say the number of daytime burglaries accounts for a lot of the increase in break ins.