Boutique owners address second burglary in Vidalia this week

Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 4:33 PM EDT
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VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) - For the second time this week, another store in Vidalia was broken into.

WTOC obtained records of how many burglaries the city has had in recent years.

  • 117 in 2019
  • 176 in 2020
  • 145 in 2021

So far with 4 months left in the year, there has only been 72 reported.

The most recent burglaries happening this week at two different stores.

Right now, police don’t believe the two are connected but they are still looking for the people responsible.

The store owners said the suspect forced his way into the store through this window. The glass is still shattered and now a piece of plywood is blocking it.

“He’s taken our security away. We feel violated.”

The owners of Sweet Onion Boutique say they were starting to get their name out into the community. They just opened their doors in June.

“It’s hard when you know how much work you’ve put into something for it to be taken away from you,” said Nicole Moxley.

On Monday night, Moxley said, “at 11:03p.m. we left.”

Nicole Moxley and Robyn Martinez turned the lights off and closed the shop.

“He actually, by camera footage, was next door at 11:58 somewhere in there,” said Robyn Martinez.

They say their first thought is that he had his eyes on them and their store.

“So, within 45 minutes he had already been in our store, taken what he wanted and he was out. He was obviously watching us.”

In the footage, you can see the suspect. clothes in hand, and the boutique’s white tags dangling off them.

“He didn’t ransack the place. He was shopping.”

Moxley and Martinez say he was ‘neat’ with his burglary, but when it came to getting inside, not so much. Police say he threw a brick at this window and while he worked his way inside he cut himself on the glass leaving blood on the floor and on various items.

He then filled his bags up with “clothes, jewelry, belts and money.”

Moxley and Martinez say they’re thankful for their neighboring businesses who did have cameras to capture the suspect. As a new store, they hadn’t had the chance to install their own until today.

They say they’re protected now, but that they still don’t feel safe and it’ll change how they operate.

“We’ll feel comfort when he’s in jail,” said Moxley.

“Our husbands don’t even want us here after 9:00 at night. We can’t stay here late. Right before we opened we were here 24 hours straight,” said Martinez.

The store owners remind other businesses to stay vigilant and if you see something, say something.

Vidalia police say that a warrant has been secured for the suspect. They say once they locate him he will be arrested.