Burglary spree victim: ‘I feel invaded’ | TheUnion.com

Burglary spree victim: ‘I feel invaded’

A recent rash of burglaries in downtown Nevada City has police warning merchants to remove cash from their businesses overnight.

Four commercial buildings were burglarized within the past month, Nevada City Police Sgt. Lorin Gage said, and police suspect one person is responsible for all of the break-ins.

The burglar doesn’t break windows or kick doors down, but instead removes screens and forces windows open, he said.

“I feel invaded,” said Kathy Hillis, owner of Mountain Pastimes on Spring Street, broken into Sept. 20. “At 10:30 at night, my alarm company wakes me up and I came to find my back door open.”

No money was taken from Hillis’ business, because she always removes cash from her register at night and leaves it wide open for potential thieves to see, she said.

However, the burglar got away with hundreds of dollars from other break-ins, Gage said.

The burglaries began the night of Sept. 11, according to Gage. A caller from Ike’s Quarter Cafe on Commercial Street reported $25 was stolen. In that case, the restaurant was undergoing some renovations and the front door was left open, he said.

On that same night, a cash bag with $240 in it was swiped from Laloo on Broad Street. Police were unable to lift prints from anywhere inside the business, Gage said.

Someone then entered through a window at Wisdom Cafe and Gallery on Broad Street on the night of Sept. 17, and took $253 from a cash register, he said.

This time, police were able to lift prints from the crime scene.

They also lifted prints from the break-in at Mountain Pastimes, Gage said. The fingerprints were sent to the California Department of Justice crime lab in Sacramento for processing, he said. Results from the DOJ crime lab typically take several months to come back, police say, because more violent and heinous crimes take precedence, and the lab is overloaded with cases from all over Northern California.

In the meantime, police are asking business owners to make it a little more difficult for thieves to take their hard-earned money.

“We recommend they don’t leave any cash inside,” Gage said. “When you leave at night, make sure everything’s secure. Additional locking mechanisms on windows would help, and we suggest having alarms.”


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.

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