JULIETTE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Several store owners are on alert after thieves broke into their stores in late June.
One sergeant says the crooks were after one thing and it wasn’t the stores’ merchandise.
“We have a little bit of everything. We have something for everybody,” Kay Cummings, the co-owner of the Kudzu Korner, said.
She takes pride in her store’s merchandise — it’s a wall-to-wall antique shop across the street from the well known Whistle Stop Cafe.
So when thieves broke into Kay’s store and the winery next door, she thought she lost it all.
“My daughter and I run the shop, but we have different vendors and my heart was just breaking, thinking how are we going to replace all of this,” she said.
Monroe County sheriff’s deputies noticed the broken glass from a brick thrown through the store’s window.
“It’s normally a low crime area. It’s unusual for us to have instances like this,” Sgt. Lawson Bittick said.
The crooks passed the china, the tchotchkes, and the change — all for less than $100 in cash.
“I said I was grateful that there was no more damage than what there was. They didn’t even take, I don’t even think, a penny out of the cash register, but they destroyed it,” Kay said.
The only clue investigators were able to find was a partial footprint next to the store.
“It’s a close-knit community, Juliette, it’s always been a close-knit community. We’ve always been proud of that. If they see something wrong, they are quick to call us and we’re quick to respond,” Bittick said.
A time where the response may not have been quick enough to make an arrest.
Kay isn’t letting the theft ruin her mood, and she says she’ll continue to keep the store open, paying extra attention when she locks up shop.
“I’m not sure whether I should be insulted because they didn’t steal anything,” she said.
Sgt. Bittick says while small stores may not make a lot of money, it’s still important of owners to invest in an alarm system and make it clear to potential thieves there’s no money inside the store.