The Woodward News

Local News

August 29, 2013

Vandals, burglars strike businesses

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — SUSPECTS GET LITTLE CASH, BUT TAKE SOMETHING MORE VALUABLE

At least from the JB's, Ramiro's and Dairy Queen incidents, the suspects seemed to have gone through a lot of effort for not much gain.

"It's upsetting that we get so much damage over so little money," Riffel said.

In addition to the $1 in cash stolen from JB's, Riffel said the only other items the burglar left with from his restaurant were an MP3 player and a hoodie sweatshirt.  He believes the sweatshirt was only taken in an attempt by the burglar to conceal his identity from the security cameras.

At Ramiro's, Gutierrez said the burglar left with even less.  While the male subject was successful in breaking open the drawer on cash register, Gutierrez said there had been no money inside for the subject to steal.

Both Ramiro's and JB's are usually closed for business on Mondays and both were broken into in the early morning hours on a Tuesday.

While nothing tangible may have been stolen from Vassar's store, he said something was still taken from him.  It was also taken from other business owners, even those who weren't vandalized or burglarized themselves, he said.

What they stole, Vassar said, was the feeling of safety.

"The bad part is that they took security away from people," he said.  "People around here felt like we were pretty secure and they stole that away.  Now people in businesses here are concerned they're going to walk out their front door or back door and get robbed."

Or they're afraid they will go home at night just to return to work the next day and find they were broken into, he said.

Vassar said he finds it difficult to leave his store unguarded overnight, especially after also recently finding damage to his back door where it appeared someone tried to break it in but were unable to get past the deadbolts.

"I may be up here at 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m. and drive by just to make sure someone has not kicked in the door," he said.  "Then when I go home, I worry 'have they hit my house?'"

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