Already battered by virus, North County businesses now hit by thieves

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ENCINITAS, Calif. — Some business owners in Encinitas are getting hit with a double-whammy — first COVID-19, now crime.

Debbie Kalinowski at 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro says a thief broke in overnight Wednesday and went through the place looking for money. “He wound up finding where the servers keep their tip bags and stole the servers’ tip money,” Kalinowski told FOX 5.

Kalinowski notified the Encinitas 101 Main Street Association, which followed up with an alert to other businesses.

“As soon as I sent out that alert, we got stories from a lot of businesses downtown,” said Irene Pyun, with the Main Street Association.

Next door to 3rd Corner at the home décor store Grounded, owner Juli Risner said they were recently hit by a shoplifter.

“It’s trying to manage all of our staff, making sure to keep employees and customers safe with COVID going on — with shoplifting and getting ready for the holidays — it gets to be overwhelming,” Risner said.

The Main Street Association is getting out the word on these crimes and encouraging businesses to stay connected and watch out for one another.

“It’s unfortunate — there’s definitely a lot more restaurants that are facing this. I wouldn’t say it’s more so because of COVID, it just hurts a lot more because they’re suffering already,” Pyun said.

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