posted on June 03, 2011 16:14
"We've never, ever, in 25 years of business – never once been broken into," says Kathy LaFarnara.
Until last night.
Batavia Police confirm today that Neptune's Garden's Pet Shop on Liberty Street in the City of Batavia was burglarized overnight. Kathy, who co-owns the store with her husband Nick, says they're shocked.
"We do a lot for people around here...we try to help everybody out," she says. "They don't have enough money, we'll work with them. That's why we can't believe that somebody would actually do this to us."
About $2,000 was stolen, along with a small safe. The perpetrators allegedly hoisted the safe out of a back window. Kathy suspects it was dropped into a pick-up truck and driven away.
"It looks like when they left, they tried to find a different way to get the safe out," she says. "Those things are heavy, it was a big heavy safe. I think they put the safe on my chair and wheeled it back there...and dropped it right into a truck."
Kathy believes the thief or thieves first tried to enter by knocking an air conditioner out of an office window (pictured), but couldn't because the air conditioner is fastened to the inner wall.
Another nearby window was ajar. Thieves forced it open and removed a screen to get inside.
No pets were taken, although Kathy says the store has "expensive reptiles," and several birds worth over $500.
The cash register at the front of the store was also untouched. But the financial damage has been done, she says.
"Congratulations to them (the thieves)," Kathy says. "I'm not paying the rent this month."
Kathy says the landlord is understanding, and also plans to update security for the store. Meanwhile, Batavia Police Detective Patrick Corona confirms his office is currently investigating the burglary. He could not divulge any details to WBTA.
UPDATE (4:57pm): Nick and Kathy LaFarnara are reportedly offering a $250 reward for the arrest and conviction of the burglar or burglars.