Piston and Rudder, a shop owned by Mike and Barb Luhr, was burglarized early Tuesday. The burglar or burglars made off with just over $200 in cash. The theft comes less than a month after the break-ins at Hammer and Wikan's convenience store and Trading Union Hardware, in which police have made no arrests.
"They chipped away at the door until they knocked off the lock," Barb Luhr said. The thieves then took the money in the metal till drawer. "They had to have been there a while," she said. "They knew exactly what they wanted. There were other things that they could have taken."
Police Chief Dale Stone said the department was following up on leads in all three cases.
"I trust people at large in Petersburg. It really pisses me off - it's just kind of like a slap in the face," said one local retailer. Some retailers are fighting back with alarm systems and others worry that without one, they could be the next target.
"We're beefing up security for the summer," said Cynthia Mathisen of Lee's Clothing. "We are integrating an alarm system and a theft-control device and it's the first time we've felt we needed to do that in 32 years."
Fran Jones of Seaport Gallery said that her alarm was "going off like gangbusters" on Tuesday morning when she arrived at the store at 8 a.m.; she had assumed it was a fluke but now she worries that someone may have tried to break in. Jones suggested that more police coverage could discourage burglars: "Maybe they could beef up the patrols if they're breaking into the stores downtown, but I think maybe more foot patrol during the night would be a good idea."
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