• Local businesses are burglarized after bridge collapse

    By: Graham Johnson


    Mount Vernon, Wash. - Talk about getting kicked while you're down.

    Businesses in Mount Vernon that have been losing money because of the Skagit River Bridge collapse are now getting burglarized. Mount Vernon police report there have been break-ins at five businesses since the bridge collapse. In four of them, property was stolen.

    At Mount Vernon Cafe and Lounge, thieves broke a window in the back door and busted through a gate to access the bar, where they stole a thousand dollars worth of liquor.

    Manager Laurissa Hirshbeel said while her business has not been hit as badly by the bridge collapse as others, she has seen a decline. And she said the entire community has been struggling with the increased traffic jams. "We're really tired, the community is tired, people are depressed, people are frustrated, people are angry," Hirshbeel said.

    Thieves also tossed chunks of concrete through the front door of the toy store Kids Stuff, and stole a mostly empty cash register. Windows were broken at two other stores on the same street.

    Mount Vernon police called the burglaries "crimes of opportunity." According to a police news release, "there is no belief that these crimes are part of a larger sophisticated criminal effort to target specific businesses."

    The crimes happened between May 27 and June 3. No one has been arrested.



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