Monday, 15 July 2024

Officials investigate break-ins in Nice

NICE – Authorities are investigating break-ins that occurred last month in businesses along the Highway 20 corridor in Nice.


The main break-ins occurred late June 18 or early June 19, and impacted the Mystic Barrel gift store and Nice Pet Care next door in the 3700 block of Highway 20, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


The Nice Pet Care break-in was discovered at about 5:30 a.m. June 19, Bauman said. The store owner had seen the store intact at 10 p.m. the night before.


A deputy responded and found a window next to Nice Pet Care's entrance door shattered, and while she was looking over the scene she noticed that a similar break-in had occurred at Mystic Barrel, Bauman said.


Bauman said the deputy called Tina Dawn-Rubin, Mystic Barrel's owner, who met with the deputy to look the place over.


Dawn-Rubin said the large windows on both her shop and Nice Pet Care were shattered, and the male suspect came in under a foot-high shelf in her store.


“He could not get our cash register open, so he just took the whole register and product,” she told Lake County News.


A survey of the shop after the burglary revealed a knife display in disarray with knives stolen, and pieces of the cash register were found later that morning by Dawn-Rubin near the lake, according to the sheriff's report.


Bauman said investigators believe the same suspect is responsible for the break-ins.


Dawn-Rubin said the losses through the theft of the cash register and the merchandise – including knives and BB guns – were significant, totaling more than $600.


She said her store was the victim of a minor break-in previously that involved young people who bailed out a back window before doing much damage.


Nice Pet Care reported grooming clippers, a dog pen, clipper attachments, petty cash and 10 sets of dog clothing stolen, Bauman said.


Anita Smith, Nice Pet Care's owner, said the suspect “just tore up the place, took half my equipment – down to my towels.”


In addition to the clipper blades, dog clothing and towels, Smith said dryers were stolen and the store was ransacked.


Smith said that in the six years she's worked at the shop – which she's owned the last three years – she's never had a break-in.


“This would have been the last place that I would have thought anyone would break into,” she said.


Smith said she's using the equipment she has left and she's keeping open because she has to keep paying her bills, but she's having issues with her insurance and her landlord is wanting her to pay for a new window to replace the one broken in the burglary.


She said she's having to put the store back together but hasn't been able to replace her equipment.


Smith said the equipment would only be useful to a person who does the kind of work she does or knows someone who does. “These people must have been really hard up.”


“There's just been a rash of burglaries,” Dawn-Rubin said, reporting that a week after her break-in a home behind the post office was hit, and two cars were stolen off of Plumas.


Dawn-Rubin reported that a break-in attempt was made on the Nice Market the same morning as the burglary of her business. The Nice Market confirmed that several weeks ago a break-in attempt was made on that business but the alarm went off and no entry was made.


The Nice Frostie was burglarized the night of May 22, Bauman said. Lake County News was unable to confirm reported break-ins to other businesses before press time.


Bauman said anyone with information on the break-ins is encouraged to call the sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 707-262-4200.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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