HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton Police are investigating nearly a dozen businesses that have been broken into in less than two weeks. The businesses range from restaurants to beauty stores, but police said they all have similar trends.
They began on October 2, and three break-ins happened as recently as Wednesday.
In almost three years, Randy Bowman said he has never had an issue at his restaurant, Bowman's Soul N the Wall. That changed earlier this week. In fact, in the last two weeks, nine business owners have had to pick up the pieces, comb through damage and destruction, and figure out what was stolen.
An officer called Bowman early Monday morning to let him know someone broke into his restaurant. Bowman said the thief used a brick to smash the glass of the front door and made off with the cash drawer.
“To have someone take away from you, I felt violated,” Bowman said. “I was hurt and disappointed, being we're in a pandemic someone had the audacity to come in and take advantage of someone.”
The string of businesses ranges from restaurants to a dry cleaner's business and a beauty supply store.
Hampton Police said investigators are considering that these incidents may be related but are not ruling anything out.
Bowman says the pandemic already set them back a bit, and this is another blow. Moving forward, he plans to make a few minor changes, as well as reach out to Hampton Police to try and get officers to patrol the area more frequently.
Bowman said he forgives whoever is responsible.
“If they needed a job to support their family, you come up here, I will not prosecute you I will give you a job as a dishwasher but to do this it's wrong and I forgive you,” Bowman said. “I'm glad I wasn't here or none of my employees, but everything else can be replaced.”