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Robberies shock local businesses

By Staff | Feb 7, 2014

Police look for suspects in a string of recent burglaries.

Blue Moon Caf, Mellow Moods Caf and Juice Bar, Two Rivers Treads, and Jala Yoga were all targets of the recent late-night break ins.

According to Greg King, owner of the Blue Moon Caf, between $500 and $600 dollars was stolen overnight Jan.21/22.

In what was an unusual decision, the restaurant had closed that day due to inclement weather.

King said his employees discovered signs of the burglary early the next day.

“The money they feed the register with was taken,” he said. ” They pried open the safe.”

King said there didn’t appear to be forced entry and instead described seeing chipped paint on the patio door.

He said his locksmith determined that the door lock was likely jimmied open with a crowbar.

On Monday Feb. 3 Mellow Moods Caf announced via its Facebook page that the restaurant would not open for business after it too was burglarized during an overnight snowstorm.

“Sometime between 5:30 last night and 7 this morning, we were broken into and money was stolen from multiple locations within our facility. It is a painful blow to the operations of Mellow Moods and to our family’s income….” it said.

Jala Yoga and German St. neighbor, Two Rivers Treads, were also victims.

Mark Cucuzzella, owner of Two Rivers Treads said the break in felt like a violation.

“You just feel hurt on a gut level that in a small town, people will break into your shop,” he said.

In a personal letter, Mellow Moods owner, Phil Mastrangelo, described the impact the crime would have on the small business.

“The money that was stolen was the money to pay this week’s food deliveries, utilities, employees and my family,” he said.

“If you know our story of starting Mellow Moods, then you know that I’m as grass roots as it gets. I felt that I had hit my breaking point and that the stress was no longer worth this up-stream battle,” he said of his feelings following the robbery.

Mastrangelo went on to say that despite the monetary set back, the outpouring of support Mallow Moods has received since the incident, has been restorative.

“I have poured my heart into Mellow Moods and today many shared their hearts right back,” he said.

The Shepherdstown Police department issued a statement Monday afternoon asking for assistance in naming suspects in each case.

Though it hasn’t been confirmed the Blue Moon and subsequent burglaries are connected, some have noted the common circumstances.

“There are some similarities between the burglaries,” Shepherdstown Police Chief David Ransom said.

Police are asking that those with any information regarding these burglaries, call the Shepherdstown Police Department at 304-876-6036.

Anonymous tips can be emailed to tips@shepherdstown.us.

Police ask residents to check doors and windows each nigh and report any suspicious activity to the Jefferson Dispatch Center at 304-725-8484.