ted palmer

Ted Palmer owns Saltwater Images, one of several stores broken into early Saturday morning in St. John's. (CBC)

Police have little doubt that a string of break-ins in the west end of St. John's early Saturday are linked.

That's because the businesses targeted are connected.

The four make up a small commercial plaza on Blackmarsh Road, across from the city depot. They include the Big R restaurant, The Tax Shelter, Saltwater Images and Professional Uniforms and Mats.

Police say they were alerted by an alarm at the Big R around 4 a.m., and arrived to discover the other three businesses were also broken into.

Ted Palmer, owner of Saltwater Images, said the incident is unnerving.

"It gives you an uneasy feeling because, you know, we are a small family business ... it's almost like a home," said Palmer. "It's really an invasion of your privacy and that's the thing that's very disruptive."

Palmer says the thieves broke windows and doors to get into the stores, but much of that damage had already been repaired by Saturday afternoon.

The thieves got away with some cash and caused some minor damage inside. An RNC spokesman said video surveillance cameras were also disabled.

Palmer, meanwhile, believes it was more than just a random act and likely involved some planning among a number of people.

No arrests have been made.