LEESBURG, Va. — A Loudoun County business owner is recovering after police say her sneaker store was burglarized twice in a matter of 10 days.
"We started off with a call from the police early in the morning, it was very frightening, they called and told us, the store had been broken into and we need to respond quickly," said Dana Green the owner of Restocked Sneakers in Leesburg, Virginia.
Leesburg Police said that on Nov. 17 their officers found a shattered glass window and determined merchandise had been stolen from the business located at 450 Madison Trade Plaza Southeast. Discarded merchandise was located nearby in Raflo Park and near the Washington and Old Dominion Trail.
Green estimates that an estimated $20,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from the first break-in.
"And then 10 days later, on November 27th, we get another call. The other window was broken," said Green to WUSA9.
Five teenagers were apprehended nearby following the second incident according to Leesburg Police. A sixth juvenile was identified following the investigation. Officers say they were able to recover the merchandise stolen from Restocked Sneakers. Investigators say the vehicle used in the heist belonged to a family member of one of the teenagers, and that the car had been taken without consent.
The investigation has been turned over to the Loudoun County Juvenile Court Services which is in charge of criminally charging the six teenagers who range in age from 14-16 years old.
"Not only did they take shoes, but also the damage of rummaging through our stock room and stepping on shoes and boxes," says Green who has been forced to close down her store as she recovers.
"They kicked in our display case. The glass shattered on the shoes on display. We can't sell shoes that have glass in them, Green added. She estimates overall damages for both burglaries to be around $40,000.
Leesburg Police investigators are still trying to determine if this group of teenagers is also responsible for the first break-in. Green says both incidents were very similar.
"Being a small business, it definitely hurts. We don't have the inventory; we don't have the income. It's definitely hard."
Smash-and-grab burglaries have been on the rise across the country, but for this entrepreneur, the break-ins are an even greater financial challenge during the peak holiday shopping season.
"I had emotions that maybe the neighborhood won't want us here because they think we will attract this kind of crime," said Green.
Restock Sneakers specializes in limited edition footwear, and replacing the inventory has been one of the most difficult parts. Green says she plans to open back her shop on Dec. 15.
Despite the difficulties she has had to endure following the burglaries, Green says that as a mother she really just wants to know why the teenagers allegedly committed the crime, "I would tell them, that I forgive them. I don't know what these kids are going through. I don't know their circumstances but I forgive them."