Friday, November 03, 2017

The $6.75 Smash-And-Grab With A Heartwarming Twist

NORTH CENTER — At 1:26 a.m. Thursday, Carrie Bowers got the call that all small business owners dread — an alert from her alarm company that there'd been a break-in at her North Center shop.
Bowers raced to Embellish Boutique, 4161 N. Lincoln Ave., within 10 minutes, to find police already on the scene.
The thief had (barely) busted through her front door — outfitted with a special plastic film to make it shatter-resistant — passed up all the jewelry and handbags on display and headed straight for the cash register.
The robber's haul?
"They took $6.75 worth of quarters," Bowers said.
After a robbery six years ago, Bowers learned to keep a small amount of money in her register at closing time, and to leave the cash drawer open. A thief's attempt to bust open a $4,000 register system winds up costing more than whatever's in the drawer, she explained.
Once officers gathered evidence, they waited with Bowers until a board-up crew arrived to put a temporary patch on her door.
"The cops were amazing. They were just on top of it," she said.
Then Bowers attempted to open for business as usual, declaring herself more mad than scared.
But there was nothing normal about Thursday.
Having seen Bowers' Facebook post about the break-in, a steady stream of neighbors popped in to deliver flowers, snacks and even essential oils to clear the shop of "bad energy." Fellow business owners offered to scour their security cameras for footage of the thief, leaving Bowers hopeful the intruder would be caught. Loyal customers stopped in to make purchases, just because.
"I've been in this business 10 years, I just kind of roll with the punches now. I'm not letting some jerk get to me," Bowers said. "But I get teary-eyed over the community response. I guess I'm speechless for that part. It's amazing a neighborhood cares that much."