Small Business Owner Says Burglar Stole Thousands

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-An owner put her life savings into a small business only to be burglarized early Monday and now she is speaking out.

Employees at Topeka's Treasure Chest are cleaning up glass pieces off the floor after the owner says a burglar smashed the front door early Monday morning at 3:30.

"Didn't take but a moment to find out that all they went for was all the jewelry in the jewelry counter," says Liz Montaño, owner of Topeka's Treasure Chest.

Montaño says it was $5,000 worth of jewelry. After only owning the small business for 6 months, she says this is a hard hit.

"You feel violated, and you feel scared," says Montaño.

Next door, the owner of a used book store agrees.

"In these times with a small business, one break in, one hard hit, can take you down by the knees. It's like taking a ball bat to your knees," says LeAnn Bearden, owner of Dean's Books.

Fortunately, video surveillance captured a suspect leaving the business. The video shows a white male with a backwards baseball cap, long sleeve shirt wearing a backpack and also carrying what the owner says looks like a crow bar.

Montaño says the suspect looks like a customer she's seen before and also has lend a few dollars.

"It's like dude I was nice to you when I couldn't afford to be nice to you and then you come back and do this ..not not cool," says Montaño.

Montaño says she hopes to keep doors open at Topeka Treasure's Chest and eventually bring her vintage to shop to what it once was.

"It will take us a long time to recuperate from that," says Montaño.

Montaño says she will no longer keep expensive jewelry inside of the store.

If you know anything about this possible suspect, call Crime Stoppers at 234-0007.