At 4 a.m., the shopping plaza was dark, except for the street lights. Three detectives sat in the parking lot, in unmarked cars, waiting.
The Rent-A-Center in the Forest Square Shopping Center had been broken into before, two or three weeks back. It was a smash-and-grab burglary of TVs, DVD players and computers. There had been others like it. Maybe 25. All over the metro area. All rent-to-own places. All smash-and-grab jobs at one site, followed by another one nearby. All the stolen merchandise was electronics: big TVs, DVD players and computers.