No windows were broken, and the lock hadn't been picked. But last Saturday morning, the first employee to arrive at Burlington's Cobblestone Deli found the biz's money bags sitting in the middle of the floor - empty. How much was missing? Owner Jaimie Kramer reports it was around $1000.
"The bitter irony is," he explains, "it's been winter, and winter is hard on businesses. Friday was like a summer day, and it was twice as busy as usual. It was our first good take . . . we were all cheering and high-fiving at the end of the day." The thief made off with the whole day's cash.
Burlington's Deputy Police Chief Mike Scherling is unable to comment on the investigation, but Kramer has some ideas about who may have perpetrated the crime. "It's most obviously an inside job," he says. "Whoever it was had a key somehow. They came in the back door and went to where things were hidden. They didn't stay long. They clearly had a plan."
Although Cobblestone closed briefly on Saturday morning so Kramer could "find some money to put in the cash register," the deli is back to normal hours of operation. Kramer plans to call his insurance company to find out whether burglary is covered in his policy.
Although the building was burgled before Kramer owned it - bars block the bathroom window - this is the first time such a thing has "happened during my tenure," he says. "I feel violated: all that normal, typical crap," Kramer goes on. "We trust people implicitly; if someone says they don't have money and they'll bring it by later, we let them."
Officer Scherling was able to confirm that the police are following a few leads. While Kramer hopes that the case will be closed soon, he's getting on with his life. Of the person who did this to him, he says, "Clearly his or her life isn't going that well. Obviously, it's worse to be him or her than me. But," he continues, "it still sucks."