Friday, 24 May 2024

Middletown stores hit by burglaries earlier this month

MIDDLETOWN – Burglaries that took place earlier this month have caused concern for Middletown-area business owners.


Chief Deputy Jim Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that two businesses were hit earlier this month – CJS Ranch Supply, located on Highway 20, and Gotta Have It, on Calistoga Street.


CJS' alarm was reportedly activated at about 11 p.m. Feb. 1, said Bauman. When the owner arrived, he found the business' front glass door had been smashed in. Inside, the store had been ransacked. Pieces of merchandise also were scattered outside of the business.


Bauman said the business owner reported the burglary to a deputy who was in the area.


While a complete inventory of the stolen items is still to be completed, Bauman estimated the initial loss reported was $250 to $500 in currency from a cash drawer.


Bauman said the preliminary investigation yielded the discovery of a cell phone, presumably left at the scene by the suspect.


Using information based on the evidence they found, detectives subsequently arrested a 16-year-old juvenile from Cobb on Feb. 7, said Bauman. The suspect was booked at juvenile hall for commercial burglary.


That incident isn't believed to be related to the second burglary reported in Middletown, which targeted Gotta Have It, said Bauman.


Gotta Have It is a furniture and home accents shop owned by Shirley Milner.


Bauman said on Feb. 9 Milner reported a break-in and vandalism to the business that occurred the previous night. He said about seven wooden signs, with a total value of $665, were stolen and several statues were damaged, valued at about $300.


There are no leads on the suspect in this case, said Bauman.


Milner, who opened her store in October of 2003, told Lake County News that she has never had any problems with break-ins or vandalisms to her shop until this month.


Although Lake County News was unable to confirm any other Middletown businesses being broken into recently, one business – CPS Country Air's Middletown branch on Calistoga Street – reported having issues about three months ago.


CPS staffer Terrina Szymczak said someone broke into the building one evening sometime between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.


Szymczak said the suspects didn't do any damage or even go through files. Rather, they used the Internet for several hours, reportedly to view pornography.


The sheriff's department responded to the business and took a report, said Szymczak, but no suspects were identified.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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