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Small business taking brunt of burglar blow

HANSVILLE — There has been a rash of burglaries within small businesses in the North End recently, causing more financial annoyance for store owners than anger.

After Kingston Classic Cycle was hit Dec. 1, Hansville Grocery and Provisions was burglarized the night of Dec. 3 or early morning of Dec. 4. Store employees discovered the damage when they opened the store around 7 p.m. Dec. 4.

Owner Tom Anderson said this is the first time in two years the grocery has been burglarized.

The store has been hit 14 times during the 13 years Anderson and his wife Carolyn have owned it, he said. The last break-in was Sept. 12, 2001.

Anderson said with the most recent burglary, the suspects brought basalt rocks to break through the plexiglass and wooden front door but had no success.

The burglars then went to the east side of the building, broke the window and crawled through. In the process, they broke two glass-lined coffee urns that cost Anderson $100 each.

“They weren’t real strong,” Anderson said of the effort to break the door. The perpetrators were obviously small people, too, he said, noting they were able to squeeze through the small window, but only stole beer and cigarettes.

The couple is considering putting bars on the windows as a precautionary measure.

“We hate to do it ... but that’s what it’s come down to,” Carolyn said.

Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office recommended several “prevention in depth” measures that small stores need to take to prevent incidents like this from happening.

Reinforced, shatterproof glass, an alarm system and/or a video surveillance system should be installed on the premises, Wilson said. He also suggested locks within the store, such as on the beer and cigarette cases.

“You make it difficult,” Wilson explained. “When I talk about burglary prevention in depth, I’m talking about layered defenses in a store to prevent (burglars) from, one, getting access and two, when they get access, they can’t put their hands on anything.”

Wilson also noted that the Indianola Country Store and Deli was burglarized twice in a three-day period in late-November, Nov. 26 and Nov. 29.

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