Damages at the SweeTea Boba shop with broken glass covering the entrance in the early Saturday morning.
Damages at the SweeTea Boba shop with broken glass covering the entrance in the early Saturday morning.
Photo by SweeTea on Instagram

Streak of break-ins target local small businesses

Four break-ins were reported along Cary Parkway this weekend, all in the early hours of the Sunday morning. Business owners are working to repair damages made.

On Sunday Sept. 24, four break-ins occurred along the Cary Parkway road. The incidents are alleged to be connected, but have not yet been confirmed by the police department.

SweeTea Boba shop was one of four stores suffering break-ins along the Cary Parkway road. Other places hit include Chinese #1, Bliss gas station and a Subway.

Among the people afflicted by the attack, SweeTea owner, Sherry Rodriguez was out of town celebrating her birthday when she received a call on Saturday at 5:50 a.m. from the Cary Police Department. The authorities informed her of a break-in at her store.

She returned to the store to see the door smashed in with a car, and the register broken into. As she re-watched her security camera, she witnessed the perpetrator run straight for the register after forcing their way into the store.

Rodriguez said she was left both shocked by the event and saddened by the destruction of her shop, as the break-in damaged the front door and entrance area of SweeTea.

Most of the other break-ins occurred in the same manner, with doors smashed in and cash reportedly missing from registers. However, due to large amounts of customers who prefer to pay using cards at the businesses, the cash taken was not of significant value, according to the business owners.

SweeTea’s makeshift door as they await further repairs, showing that the incident will not be stopping them from serving their customers. (GH Falcon Staff)

Since the incident, Rodriguez busies herself with a focus on returning to normalcy before the attack, and on enhancing the safety features equipped in the store in order to deter any further events.

Rodriguez explained that going forward, the store would not accept cash as a safety measure. “We don’t want to accept the cash so we will put a sign outside stating ‘no cash on hand’ just to let them know if they break in there is no cash inside,” she said. Due to the other attacks on registers with little to no cash, other business owners are also turning to card-only methods of payment, like Rodriguez.

SweeTea has also chosen to re-design the store’s layout to add more frontiers near the register by closing off what used to be an open floor plan to the store. Their main focus is to deter thieves and protect the store by adding more barriers to slow down the attack and ideally slow perpetrators down, allowing law enforcement to more easily catch them and prevent them from quickly fleeing the scene.

SweeTea will not be closing its doors throughout store re-construction, as Rodriguez would like to continue serving her community through her business and said that she will not allow the incident to deter her from operating as normal in her store.

While Rodriguez was initially in a state of shock, she explained that she is now determined to continue pursuing her business and operating normally in the wake of the attacks. She feels hopeful that her business, along with the others, will recover from the incident.

Life is full of surprises. Sometimes bad things happen, but we make the best of it.

— Sherry Rodriguez

Currently, no arrests have been made. The incidents have also not been confirmed to be related but are believed to be due to the similar natures of the crimes.

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    AmnaSep 28, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    Amazing article!

    Reply