LODI, Calif. — An up and coming baby clothing store is out tens of thousands of dollars, and Christmas orders had to be canceled after a brazen break-in.
“I had many orders that we could not refund because we have nothing,” said Jennifer Schuyler, owner.
It happened in downtown Lodi, California, at the Just Baby Boutique.
“We’re really starting from scratch,” Schuyler said.
Cleaned out by a Christmas Grinch, $25,000 worth of baby items inside the boutique were stolen during a smash and grab.
“Baby clothes! Who steals baby clothes?” said Schuyler.
They weren’t just any baby clothes, rather, high-end and handmade clothing that took thousands of hours of work to make.
“Every item is unique — one-of-a-kind. We don’t mass produce anything,” she said.
Schuyler said she was getting ready to open the store in January, but the store already had a big online presence — with items sold on Etsy. Just days before Christmas and with nothing left to sell, every order had to be canceled and refunded.
“We were very lucky that nobody was angry and hopefully we won’t lose some of our customers because of this,” Schuyler said.
Lodi police said there’s a higher-than-average amount of business burglaries during the holidays. Sal Mirales owns the Legendary Barber Shop on Kettleman Lane and said he was recently ripped off.
“It’s bad for business,” said Mirales. “Two weeks ago, we had someone come in and take money from the shop, broke into a couple of other buildings next to us.”
Though the burglary was a huge setback, Schuyler said she won’t let a burglar run her out of business.
“This is what we do. This is what we love. This is our passion — so we’re just going to start again,” she said.
The suspect in the case also took a cash register and an iPad “Point of Sale” system. Fortunately, they did leave behind the sewing machines.
Police said there are no leads in this case.