Seadrift store owner relieved over return of stolen merchandise

Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:18 a.m.

Jessica Miller, the owner of Jessica's Bowtique and Shop, 305 W. Broadway St., in Seadrift, noticed something amiss when she arrived at work last Thursday.

The backdoor was unlocked and open, and merchandise was missing. Miller called the Seadrift Police Department. The police discovered the suspects had entered through a window on the side of the building and took between $2,000-$3,000 worth of merchandise.

On Friday, tips led police to the suspects, Cora Garza, 18, and a 16-year-old girl, both of Seadrift. The two confessed to the crime and police recovered the stolen property, said Seadrift Police Chief Francisco Servantes. Warrants were issued, and they were arrested on Monday.

Garza was charged with burglary of a building, a state felony.

The girl was turned over to the juvenile process court system. She had been listed as a missing person for the past two weeks, Servantes said.

Luggage, bags, purses, shoes, jewelry and clothing were taken from the store. Servantes said the pair planned to keep the things for personal use.

"A lot of the merchandise had been worn and used, but I didn't have any insurance so I was just happy to get it back," Miller said.

Since the burglary, Servantes said the police have seen a significant increase in the number of tips from Crime Stoppers. They've also seen an increase in tips called into the police station. They used to get three a week at the most. Now they get three to five a day, Servantes said.

"People were really upset about this happening to a local business, and now they're keeping an eye out for each other," Servantes said.

Miller said she was impressed to see people across the area working to get her merchandise back.

"It wasn't just the people of Seadrift, it was all of the Crossroads keeping an eye out, and asking other local businesses. I appreciated that," she said.



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