Business owners frustrated amid recent runs of break ins

Businesses worried about break-ins
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — Business owners are frustrated with vandalism and break-ins at their stores.

The Barrell Steak and Seafood House and Steelhead Diner alone have experienced five instances of this damage occur this past month. Two weeks ago, someone threw a rock through a window in The Barrell. They have spent thousands of dollars to repair damages across the two restaurants.

“It’s pretty frustrating to have that time, energy, and resources going towards damage and vandalism to our businesses,” Casey Curtis, COO of Nelson and Phelps Hospitality said.

They’ve had, what he describes as ‘countless,’ break-ins at their business Nelson’s Towing on Francis Avenue.

“It seems like it’s amplified,” Curtis said. “I think the trends show as the weather gets warmer, people are out being more nefarious more often, and so we’ve seen a little bit of an increase.”

Curtis wants a solution, saying it would be great if everyone worked collectively to stop some of it from happening or prosecute the people doing it.

The Little Noodle was broken into three months ago in Spokane. Owner Kadra Evans is still waiting for the culprit to be arrested.

She believes the person who broke in was a former employee.

“It was the walk, it was the clothes, and it was the fact that it was done in two minutes, and knew exactly where our safe was hidden, knew where like we kept everything tucked away,” Evans said.

Property crimes have gone up 30 percent across Spokane from this time last year.

“Each criminal investigation is different,” the Spokane Police Department said in a statement sent to 4 News Now. “How quickly cases are closed is dependent on a variety of factors including how much evidence is available, how cooperative are witnesses, and the prioritization of the crime. For instance, a homicide will have priority over a misdemeanor offense. SPD must develop probable cause to arrest a suspect in a crime. At that point, there are additional steps in the judicial system – prosecution and court decisions that impact the closure of a case. SPD makes every effort to investigate all crimes in a timely manner to help the process of bringing justice and closure to victims and to provide safety to the community.”

All Evans and other owners want is accountability.

“I had to have my dad and friends sit with me in the morning because I felt unsafe and that broke my heart, that I couldn’t do that in my own business,” Evans said.

RELATED: ‘We don’t want to be living here’: Property crime up nearly 30% across Spokane