‘It’s frustrating’: NoDa businesses pick up pieces following recent string of break-ins

CHARLOTTE — Business owners in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood are doing damage control after their windows were smashed and their stores and restaurants were robbed.

Employees told Channel 9 the break-ins happened on Saturday night at a strip mall off East 36th Street on Friday night. For some owners in the area, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

The owner of the NoDa Bodega, Brian Moore, says he’s reached his limit and that many times the store owners end up paying more to fix what the robbers damaged.

“You get a call at 4 in the morning and you come down; it’s usually the same thing,” Moore said. “Somebody runs in, they run through an office, tear it up, maybe get away with about 100 dollars, and then we end up replacing a 500-dollar door.”

Another store that was hit was The Artisans Palate; Friday’s break-in was the fourth time this year. The store was opened just before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Grayson Natua, the store’s manager, says the recent robberies only add to the daily struggle.

“It’s frustrating; it’s also really disheartening, I mean, because small businesses have such a hard time keeping our doors open, especially with how things are going right now with the economy,” Nauta said.

According to the most recent crime statistics, in 2022, there were 1,610 commercial break-ins. So far this year, there have been 1,569, showing a slight decrease.

“I’d like to grab them by the shoulder and shake them a little bit. What are you doing? I’d like to see them get some community service,” Moore said.

The workers and owners of these small businesses are only asking for one thing from the community after events like these: supporting and visiting the stores.

“We get a lot of support on social media when stuff like this happens, but it doesn’t actually translate to people coming in and supporting us,” Nauta said.

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