Burglars hit several Independence Street businesses

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A series of burglaries along Independence Street have business owners planning to beef up their security.

Three local businesses, Whiskey River at 1444 Independence St., Trish's Place at 2023 Independence St. and Rhymer's on The Plaza, located just off Independence Street at 10 Plaza Way, have been the sites of recent early morning burglaries that have involved property damage and the taking of undisclosed amounts of money.

Whiskey River, in the early hours of Nov. 8, was the first establishment along Independence Street to be burglarized. According to Betty Hendrickson, co-owner of Whiskey River, the burglary wasn't discovered until noon.

"I came in to tend to some business before we opened, and of course that's when I saw something was wrong," she said. "There was damage to our video machines and cash register. I looked around to discover that our money had been taken."

Hendrickson said the burglar, or burglars, had came through a window located toward the rear of the property.

Hendrickson said she is slowly getting over the burglary, but the incident along with other businesses being burglarized have led her to invest in an alarm system for Whiskey River.

"We're going to put iron bars over the windows, too," she said.

The next burglary occurred Wednesday morning at Rhymer's on The Plaza. Owner Will Rhymer could not be reached for comment but he reported to police that a glass door in the back of the bar had been kicked in and an undisclosed amount of money was taken.

Thursday morning saw both a burglary and an attempted burglary. Trish's Place was broken into through a front window. Bob Hardy, who owns Trish's Place, could also not be reached for comment but Terry Eaker, who tends bar there, said the burglar did some real damage.

"Whoever it was ruined the safe when they tried to get it open," Eaker said. "They weren't successful, but we had to bring in a locksmith to cut it open so we could remove the money inside. The cash register was also damaged, and so was a side door that will have to be replaced. We're talking about thousands of dollars worth of damage here."

Eaker said an undisclosed amount of money was taken from Trish's Place, a bag containing tips that had been left overnight.

An attempted burglary was reported by Bob Pastrick, manager of Raben Tire and Auto Service at 2000 Independence St.

Pastrick said he arrived at work Thursday morning at about 7 a.m. to find pry marks on the door.

"The last time someone tried to rob us was seven years ago when a car crashed through our front glass," Pastrick said. "Whoever it was that did that wasn't able to get inside and take anything, though. But I do hope the police catch whoever is responsible for what's happening on Independence."

Patrolman Darin Hickey, spokesman for the Cape Girardeau Police Department, wants to assure business owners that steps are being taken to ensure the safety of their establishments.

"Our detectives are working diligently to find a suspect, whoever it may be, into custody," Hickey said. "We're looking into the evidence we've gathered and are trying to gather more."

Hickey was reluctant, however, to say if the burglaries were connected.

"At this point, there's no way to determine if the burglaries along Independence are related," he said. "Right now, we're investigating each instance in a case-by-case manner. These cases are in proximity to one another, but we can't assume anything at this point. If we determine the crimes are related, we'll proceed accordingly."

klewis@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

10 S. Plaza Way, Cape Girardeau, MO

2000 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

2023 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

1444 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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