Burglars hit downtown businesses

SANDUSKY A string of break-ins last week at three downtown businesses has people talking, including
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

A string of break-ins last week at three downtown businesses has people talking, including the Sandusky Mainstreet Association.

At its general membership meeting this week, Mainstreet Association will discuss a downtown block watch program.

Last week RJ's Antiques, Needful Things and a Columbus Avenue restaurant were burglarized.

Gerard Schmitz, 52, has owned and operated RJ's Antiques, 178 E. Market St., for about two years.

Last Wednesday night, someone broke into Schmitz's store.

Schmitz said another downtown business owner asked him not to say anything about the break-in because Sandusky Mainstreet Association wanted to keep it quiet.

Mainstreet Association Director John Lippus said that is simply not true.

Lippus said only he and board President Bryan Peitz are authorized to speak on behalf of the organization.

"We've actually been informing other businesses so that everybody can make sure they keep an eye out and keep their ears open," Peitz said.

Peitz said he would like to see a downtown block watch program started as soon as possible.

The break-ins began last week with a restaurant on the 100 block of Columbus Ave. Restaurant management declined comment.

Next was Needful Things, 136 E. Market St. The front door of store was smashed in last Tuesday night around 11:30 p.m., the owner said. More than $250 was stolen from the store.

"Same M.O.," said the owner of Needful Things, who asked not to be identified. "The back door gets kicked in and its a beeline for the cash register."

RJ's Antiques then became the third business burglarized last week.

"Let's get together to put a stop to this stuff," Schmitz said.

Sandusky police Assistant Chief Charlie Sams said all three cases are still under investigation.