Vandals Hit More Than Just Big Retailers In B-N
The vandalism and looting that has hit Bloomington-Normal in recent days isn't limited to major retailers. Some of it has been happening in neighborhoods.
Two thieves broke into One More Time, a pawn shop east of downtown Bloomington around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, smashing the front door window with a large rock and using a hammer to break two glass cases full of merchandise.
Stephanie Mocilan owns the store; her boyfriend James Hasty helps run it.
“They didn’t seem to know what they were doing because they left $3,000 worth of stuff here and took garbage, some $10 watches, a broken TV and a phone charger,” Hasty said. “I don’t understand. They left a $1,000 gaming computer and a bunch of 3D printers.”
Molican esimates the damage will amount to several hundred dollars.
She said it's frustrating because as someone who has lived in Bloomington nearly her entire life, she always felt safe in the neighborhood, even after vandals damaged a takeout restaurant a few blocks away the night before.
“I guess I never thought that would actually happen,” she said. “A friend of mine asked me, ‘Hey are you boarding up the shop?’ and I thought no.”
Mocilan added the couple did take some valuables home the night before as a precaution, though their west Bloomington home nearly became the target of burglars overnight.
She said they may have missed two men entering their yard and approaching their back door if they weren't awakened by the earlier vandalism call. Hasty said the two men fled after he told them he was armed.
Hasty and Mocilan said they don’t think they were targeted and Hasty believes the crime is especially senseless because the business can be a source of revenue for its customers.
“We pay people money for stuff that’s not really that valuable,” Hasty said. “So I feel like we do a lot of people favors and I just didn’t think anybody in this town would do something like that here.”
Mocilan said a better representation of the community is the friends and customers who showed up Tuesday morning to help them clean up so they could reopen sooner.
Mocilan plans to share the store's security footage and other evidence with investigators. Police haven't made any arrests in the case, but they have made a slew of arrests stemming from the crime spree that started Sunday night.
A bulk of the theft and property damage has occurred at major retailers in Bloomington-Normal, including Target, Walmart and Kohls, but other locally-owned businesses also have been hit, including Read’s Sporting Goods in Bloomington, according to police records.
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