Burglaries hit Coupeville businesses | UPDATE

Coupeville police are looking for the people responsible for a string of break-ins that took place in the historic town sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Six businesses, located on Front Street and South Main Street on opposite sides of town, were burglarized. All businesses were closed at the time of the break-ins.

Town Marshal Dave Penrod didn't provide many details about the string of burglaries or how many businesses were victimized.

"We're still gathering information," Penrod said Thursday. He said the method of entry was "similar" in all burglaries but gave no further details.

Several business owners noted that entry was gained by either going through a window or through the front door.

"I had a damaged window and they stole one little box of toys," said Karla Makintosh, owner of the Honey Bear located in Mariner's Court on Front  Street. She said she leaves the empty register drawer open after she closes each evening to discourage potential burglaries.

"There wasn't anything in here they really wanted," Makintosh said.

A neighboring business, Beyond the Sea, was also burglarized.

The Penn Cove Gallery, which is located on Front Street a block away from Mariner's Court, suffered more serious losses. An employee of the artist co-op said hand-carved bowls, Indian art, masks and jewelry were pilfered during the night.

The thieves also broke into several South Main Street businesses located on the other side of Highway 20.

"It could have been much worse," said Carol Moliter, owner of Big Rock Designs. The thieves broke in, dumped out a trash can and apparently filled it with credit cards, checks and several spools of picture wire. Her computer was also stolen. She has already canceled her credit cards and changed her bank account. She was relieved that her office was left relatively undamaged.

The burglary next door to Big Rock Designs was more significant.

Marina Villarreal, owner of Coupeville Florist, said the lock to her front door was picked and a cash register and other items were stolen. Similar to Moliter's experience, she said it appeared the burglars left with a bo full of items.

She said the most valuable item stolen was her wedding planner, which contained the details for all of the weddings she has scheduled.

Of the businesses hit, only one, Sally's Garden, had an alarm that went off, Penrod said.

Officers are compiling a list of items stolen and that information will be given to local law enforcement agencies and businesses, according to a news release from the marshal's office.

Coupeville's reputation for having businesses that sell unusual objects may help identify the culprits. "Several unique items were taken," Penrod said.

Makintosh noted that Tuesday's incident is the first time in years that she has dealt with a burglary.

"We're such a trusting town," Makintosh said. "This is very unnerving."

Anyone with possible information regarding the burglaries should contact the Coupeville Town Marshal's Office by calling ICOM at 679-9567.





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