The co-owner of The Whimsy Artisan Boutique said a recent burglary resulted in about $1,500 in damages and lost goods, which was a big blow to a business that already was reeling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What really irked Jess Carlos, who runs the Heights shop along with her husband, Luis, was watching the surveillance video and seeing the burglar swipe a can of Dr Pepper from her cooler.
“That was just rude to me,” she said. “How Texan of me.”
Two neighboring businesses also were hit early in the morning of July 2, according to Houston Police Department spokesperson John Cannon. He said the owners of The Whimsy Artisan Boutique, Misfit Toys and A Blue Seam, which all operate in the Heights Common Market at 1802 Yale St., reported being burglarized by a black male with a thin build who was recorded on their surveillance videos.
Cannon said the suspect gained entry to the businesses by prying open a small window in the back of the building. An iPhone and iPad were among the items that were stolen, he said.
“They have not turned the video over to us yet,” he said late Tuesday afternoon.
According to surveillance video at The Whimsy Artisan Boutique, which the shop provided to The Leader, the burglar busted through the French doors in the back of the store before rummaging through a cash register that contained only coins. He then grabbed the soda and a backpack with an image of The Heights Theater logo, filling it up with scented oils and candles.
During his three minutes in the store, according to Carlos, the burglar did not mess with any of the several pieces of art hanging on the walls.
“It was so strange he went straight to the oils,” Carlos said. “It makes no sense. The whole thing makes no sense at all.”
Carlos said the suspect, who in the video was wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts, also was wearing a mask. She said she was glad about that, although she still disinfected the store afterward.
Carlos also said she suspects the burglar might have had an accomplice, because she could hear banging sounds in the background of her video.
While she described the burglary as “disheartening,” especially since the business has been trying to overcome the economic downturn associated with the pandemic and corresponding social distancing and mask-wearing requirements, Carlos said she’s glad that her shop wasn’t ransacked and no one was hurt.
“I’m grateful it didn’t go as bad as it could have. It could have been really bad,” she said. “But it still sucks.”
Cannon said anyone with information about the burglaries is encouraged to call HPD at 713-308-0900 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-8477.