Caught on camera: On eve of Raleigh store's anniversary, thief bashes in glass door, swipes register

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh small business, already affected by COVID-19, is facing another setback after being victimized by a thief.

On Wednesday night, a thief bashed the glass door of Garnish Hair Extension Studio, before swiping the cash register with hundreds of dollars inside.

"We've been open (again) for about two-and-a-half months, kind of making a new normal out of all of this. Only to see someone with no regard and no respect for all the work it took to get back into this position, just bash it in with a hammer," said Candice Motley, who owns the studio on Creedmoor Road.

A separate security camera caught the thief looking into other stores before choosing Garnish, and he was in and out of the store in a matter of seconds. Immediately after he shattered the glass, the alarm system activated, but it was no deterrent.

"That did shock me. We have motion sensors and also a glass-break sensor inside of my space. As soon as he hit through the glass, as soon as it shattered, the alarm was screaming. And it's a loud alarm," said Motley, who estimated the suspect was only inside the store for about 10 seconds.

The incident happened on the eve of the store's six-year anniversary.

"It's a day to celebrate, especially in 2020 because we've already had so many obstacles and so many challenges," Motley said.

Many of those challenges have been brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Masks, and plexiglass, and hospital grade disinfectant. Things that salons usually don't worry about expenses with and all of a sudden it becomes part of our normal inventory list," Motley explained.

Those extra costs, in addition to capacity limits because of social-distancing guidelines, have made it difficult for many small-business owners like Motley.

Still, Motley is trying to focus on the positives, noting nobody was injured.

"Nothing's going to stop me ... nothing," Motley said.

Until a new door is installed, Motley and her team put up a piece of plywood, which they decorated with spray paint. She looked at the resolve many downtown Raleigh business owners have shown through the economic downtown and June protests as an example of pushing forward.

"I almost look up to the business owners that are downtown that just continue to say, 'let's go. Nothing's going to stop. We're still here.' So that would be my big takeaway with this. It's just an obstacle. Keep going," Motley said, becoming emotional.

Motley has spoken with her property management team about increasing security protocols in light of the break-in.

If you have any information about this case, call Raleigh Police.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.