TULSA, Okla — A Tulsa business owner is dealing with a big loss after thieves stole $20,000 worth of merchandise on Thanksgiving Day.
Just after 4:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, Paige Van Norman got a call from her alarm company saying someone was breaking into her boutique Willamina. Van Norman said at first she ignored the call, but then had a bad feeling about it.
"When the alarm system first called we assumed that they had broke through a window or something like that and then we checked the videos and they had just come through the back door. So there were no signs of a true break anywhere so we’re not sure if they used a key or how they got in but they got into our space somehow which was really unfortunate," Van Norman said.
Willamina is a high-end clothing boutique that has barely been open for a month. It's located in a new development near East 12th Street and South Lewis Avenue. The security video showed two thieves breaking in on Thanksgiving Day and rummaging through the store.
Van Norman said those thieves stole around $20,000 worth of merchandise before they ran off.
“They had come in through our back door which was locked when I left so we’re not sure exactly what happened. But they had come in, we had a delay on our alarm and they started just grabbing merchandise anywhere they could and the alarm started sounding and they ran," Van Norman said.
She said this is the second break-in they've had. The first one was right before they opened, but there wasn't any merchandise inside the store at that time. After the first break-in they decided to put in cameras and a security system.
Van Norman told 2 News, “our alarm system, security system did its job which is great. And we got our locks changed immediately and we’re just hoping for the best and trying to see the best in people.”
While it's unfortunate that thieves stole from her store, Van Norman is hopeful the surveillance video will help police catch the suspects.
“The police were wonderful, they got here really fast and watched through everything with us. We showed them all the videos and footage. Luckily we have great cameras in here and were able to get really great shots of these people. They were wearing masks, Covid style masks, not full face masks so we have some good images of them and we’re hoping that someone can identify them," Van Norman said.
Police arrested one of two men believed to be involved with the burglary.
James Maloy is facing charges on complaints of 2nd Degree Burglary After Former Conviction of a Felony, and Carrying drugs/alcohol into jail.
Police are asking that if anyone recognizes the other man in the video to call the Tulsa Police Crime Stoppers at 918-596-2677.
While this isn't exactly the start Van Norman expected, she isn't going to let this string of bad luck stop her from following her dreams. She said she is excited to be in the up-and-coming area and knows the community will come through and continue their support.
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