Businesses on Alert After Theft During Ice Fest

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MEDINA-- A thief stole over $400 from a small business near the Medina Square in broad daylight during the annual ice festival this past weekend.  Now, small business owners around town are doing everything they can to be as safe as possible despite tough, economic times.

At 4 Ladies and More Boutique shop in Medina, business has been tough.

"January, February has been very tight not only for myself but for several small business owners as well, so every dollar counts," said Sue Mitchell of 4 Ladies and More Boutique.

As word spread of the theft at a small business this weekend in Medina during the annual Ice Festival, shop owners around town are on extra alert.

"It is always a concern. It is always something that we have on our minds as far as what do we do, how do we tighten down our security," Mitchell said.

Almost every shop on the Medina Square is equipped with some sort of surveillance video and some owners take it a step further to even post signs letting patrons know, they're being watched.

"People do notice that and sometimes they make comments that oh, wow, we're on camera we better be careful, so that helps a lot," said Mitchell.

At Lyle's Jewelry and Coin shop, security cameras and alarms are used to keep the store secure and valuable merchandise is put under lock and key.

"We don't usually keep the expensive items out so somebody can pick them up and put them in their pocket," said Lyle Morse of Lyle's Jewelry and Coin.

At One Lucky Dog Bakery, extra help is brought in on the weekends just to help with the large volumes of people who are visiting the store.

"Over the weekend, I had two other people working in the store and I kind of watched," said owner Stacey Sutphen.   "It's a small store and I kind of watch everything that goes on in the store."

Even though these small shops are competing for the same business, that doesn't mean they are not helping each other out.

"I watch out for the people next to me and the arcade area so we do watch our backs," Sutphen said.

"We work with people that are around us, other businesses," Morse said. "We work together some of us and watch out for one another."

A simple gesture that goes a long way in a very difficult economy.

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