WEST COVINA, Calif. (KABC) — A group of six burglars smashed their way into four different businesses in a West Covina shopping center Sunday and it was all caught on video.
The burglaries were reported at around 5:28 a.m. at the shopping center located at 128 N. Grand Ave.
“It’s just disappointing,” said Cindy Diekema, whose salon was hit during the crime spree. “You don’t feel safe anywhere.”
The other businesses that were targeted was a Thai restaurant, another Asian eatery and the Temple Bar, which had the surveillance cameras that captured the group breaking through the front door then ransacking the place once they got in.
One the businesses, however, has a sign posted out front that reads: “Only credit & debit cards accepted. We’re cashless.”
The owner told Eyewitness News the burglars made off with just an envelope of petty cash.
At Diekema’s salon, they left a trail of destruction.
“They smashed the door, they were in here for probably not even two minutes, ran back to the office, looked for money, couldn’t find any and they went out,” said Diekema.
The damage left by the burglars adds up, according to experts, leaving business owners picking up the pieces.
“You’re looking at close to [$3,000] for something like this,” said Vance Cassaro with Secure-A-Door, a company who specializes in replacing doors and windows.
He said they’ve been called to more break-ins recently, something he attributes to a lack of punishment.
“It’s definitely something that’s taking place more often and the guys get a little slap on the hand and they turn them loose,” said Cassaro. “Why wouldn’t they want to go break into businesses if they’re not going to get any repercussions?”
As those repercussions are absorbed by the small businesses, frustrated owners are hoping the law will drop the hammer on the ones caught swinging it.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is urged to contact police.
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