Downtown business owner frustrated by break-in

Just a few days after Spokane Police sent a release asking for the public’s help to combat an uptick in downtown commercial burglaries, staff at Nectar had quite the experience.

During a private event at the restaurant on Thursday an employee found a man in the basement. She asked the man to leave, but he did not. The employee noticed that significant damage in the basement restroom and contacted Nectar owner Josh Wade.

“I get a text from one of my employees who sent me a picture of the bathroom. The mirror was off the wall, acoustic ceiling tiles down, sink almost out of the wall,” Wade said.

The employee said the man then locked himself in the bathroom but left when she called police. He didn’t take anything though Wade says that has happened before.

He posted a photo of the damage to his Facebook, calling for a conversation about homelessness in Spokane. Hundreds of user responded, including other local business owners who shared similar experience.

SPD couldn’t say for sure whether there is a direct correlation between Spokane’s homeless crisis and the increasing burglaries they’ve responded to in the downtown area.

But the staff at Nectar are more certain. While cleaning the bathroom on Friday morning, employees opened an adjoining closet and found clothing, toiletries and other items that indicated a person had been sleeping or staying in the space.

SPD offers these tips for business owners and employees to prevent burglaries:
– Post notices in off-limits areas. SPD says burglars have been targeting areas with common spaces- a building that houses several storefronts. Wade says they don’t know for sure how the man entered. Nectar on Thursday but he thinks it was a door that connects to the restaurant, its basement and an elevator to the building’s upper levels.

– Don’t assume that anyone in an off limit area is supposed to be there. Ask them why and ask them to leave- but do so safely.

– If you are in need of assistance call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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