‘Very violated’: Business owners express concerns after string of break-ins in Statesville

STATESVILLE, N.C. — The Statesville Police Department has noticed a surge in business break-ins.

Since January, police have responded to 38 store break-ins, seven of which occurred within the last two weeks.

Channel 9′s Almiya White spoke with officers as well as business owners, who said they are stepping up security.

Rachel Gaiton, the owner of Crafty Corner, said she is one of the latest victims in a string of break-ins in downtown Statesville.

“Very violated is probably the best thing to kind of say,” Gaiton said. “They had smashed my sensor, which messed up my camera, and so we were unfortunately unable to get any footage.”

Gaiton said she had no idea someone broke into her store until she got a call from police Sunday afternoon.

She said her windows were smashed and items were stolen, including the store’s rent money.

“The cash was inside of a safe, so they also stole the safe,” Gaiton explained.

She said a customer found her register around the corner of her store, covered in grass. Two minutes from Crafty Corner was another victim.

Ziggy’s Closeouts is a salvage store. Manager Amber Lipe said she just opened the location at the beginning of June and barely made it to two weeks before someone broke in.

“It looks like they could possibly break into the panel in the back behind the knob and just open it up, and within 60 seconds they had disarmed our security,” Lipe said.

Lipe elaborated that four spools of copper wire were stolen, but the thieves didn’t stop there.

“They broke into one of our eBay rooms and stole merchandise tools. I just messed up our register and really just destroyed a lot in the store here,” said Lipe.

However, she had a message for whoever was behind the crime.

“It might be fun for you, but it’s not fun for people like us. It costs money. For us. It makes us feel unsafe. And find something else to do with your time,” Lipe expressed.

The Statesville Police Department said they are working to learn if the break-ins are connected.

Business owners told Channel 9 that they have upped their security measures, but they also want to see police patrolling the area more.

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Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV

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