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Businesses burglarized again

Thieves keep returning to the 1300 block of Foothill Boulevard.

July 07, 2010|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com

Business owners in the 1300 block of Foothill Boulevard said they are feeling frustrated and vulnerable after being burglarized three times in as many weeks.

The most recent burglary occurred at 1:30 a.m. Monday, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Det. Brian Tibbett. Suspects smashed the front glass door and glass display cases at All About Watches and stole several watches and pieces of jewelry.

The watch shop had been burglarized less than three weeks earlier when suspects broke in through the back door in the early-morning hours of June 16, smashed the display cases and stole at least four watches worth several hundred dollars each, according to sheriff's officials. An adjacent business, Lovely Nails, was broken into the same night, and a television set was stolen.

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And on June 30 shortly before midnight, Lovely Nails and Cowgirl Princess were broken into. This time the nail salon was ransacked, and about 500 bottles of nail polish, a nail dryer, toilet paper and Styrofoam cups were stolen, according to manager Kim Tran.

Cowgirl Princess, a women's clothing boutique, was left largely undisturbed. However, the burglars did steal two pairs of boots and two pairs of shoes that were near the back entrance, said owner Kristina Zitkovich.

"They have come to the block three times in 2 1/2 weeks," Zitkovich said. "It is scary."

The business owners are doing their best to recover from the burglaries and warn others to remain on high alert. The morning after Lovely Nails was ransacked, the nail technicians were left without nail polish to use on their customers, Tran said. Zitkovich sent out a message via her customer e-mail list asking people for donations.

"The next day she e-mailed [her contact list], and some customers came to give me five, six, 10 [bottles of nail polish]," Tran said.

Tran said she worked at Lovely Nails for nearly 17 years without incident, even when she forgot to lock the door a couple of times. Since the break-ins, she makes sure there are always at least two employees on site during the evening.

Kari Avanezov, owner of All About Watches, said he continues to inventory his merchandise to determine what is missing. Insurance will cover a portion of his losses, he said, and the glass door and display cases will be replaced.

"I want the police to get them, that is what I want," Avanezov said.

Detectives continue to investigate, Tibbett said, and area businesses are being encouraged to take extra precautions.

"The immediate area has been combed for clues, and business owners have been spoken to," Tibbett said.

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