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Date of Issue: December 30, 2009

‘Downtown’ stores recover from burglaries

Laura Shely came to Anna Maria Island five years ago from Stillwater, Minn., a small town where she never feared her jewelry and clothing shop would be burglarized.

As the owner of Tide and Moon in the AMI Plaza in downtown Holmes Beach, Shely felt the same security until the morning of Dec. 18, when burglars broke through her store’s glass door and stole what she estimated to be half of her raw materials. They also smashed display cases and her cash register.

As of Dec. 24, the Holmes Beach Police Department had not made an arrest, but said officers were reviewing footage from a surveillance camera located on the plaza walkway of the burglars outside of Tide and Moon.

At 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7, HBPD will host a crime-prevention program at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

Shely, meanwhile, is recovering.

She said Island residents have helped.

“I want to thank everyone who called and offered assistance and purchased merchandise from me last week since this horrible thing happened,” Shely said. “It showed it is still a good community on the Island and there are still good people out there, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. And I hope I make it through the whole year.”

Shely thinks she’ll never get the merchandise or money back.

“It’s not coming back to me,” she said. “I’ve got to find a way to recoup it. I’m thinking of possibly adding a new product to the store. But I’m not closing it. The [burglars] are not going to run me out of business because they’re creepers.”

Mister Roberts Resortwear, the Color of Coconut and AMI Fitness, across Gulf Drive from Tide and Moon in the S&S Plaza, also were burglarized Dec. 18, all before 7 a.m. Staff and owners from the Color of Coconut and Mister Roberts said that they were doing well despite their losses.

Peggy Dean, an owner of Color of Coconut, said she is proud of the efforts of the HBPD.

“I give them a lot of credit,” she said. “I just hope the burglars get caught and get rehab for their problems.”

Shely would like to see the burglars go to prison. In the meantime, she’s picking up the pieces of an injured business.

“I re-opened the day after the burglary and found a cash register on Craigslist,” Shely said. “I’m operating with half my inventory at the beginning of the season and there’s no way to replace it.”