GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – A small business owner is launching a one-man crusade to identify a suspect who damaged his shop during an attempted break-in.
A surveillance camera outside the Aaron Sign Shop on Turney Road in Garfield Heights captured video of a man walking up to the business at just after 3:00 AM on Saturday. The man tries to open the front door and is then shown kicking the glass in the door five times while ignoring cars passing by the shop.
The suspect eventually gave up and left, but the damage he did will cost the owner $600, which he elected to take out of his own pocket rather than pay the high deductible on his insurance policy.
Jim Grenig, who has owned the shop for 32 years, discovered the damage when he came to work on Saturday morning.
“Oh, I was aggravated, I was very angry, I was mad, kind of felt violated,” said Grenig.”I think alcohol played a big part in this, some kind of alcohol or drugs, just maybe an angry person, a confused person, but there’s nothing in here for them.”
Grenig decided on Saturday morning that he was going to do everything in his power to identify the suspect. He used his skill as a printer to create a large wanted poster with photos of the vandal and posted it on the front door of the shop.
“I mean the buck has got to stop here, and business owners are starting to stand up now,
and defend what’s theirs and this isn’t like taking a bicycle out of a yard, this is a livelihood that you’re threatening when you come through the door,” said Grenig. “I’m hoping that either he sees himself, comes forward, admits what he did, and we go from there or someone else ID’s him and we put it in the hands of the law and let them do what they have to do.”
Grenig says he is relieved that he was not in the shop during the attempted break-in because he owns several guns, and he believes there would have been a violent confrontation.
“I have to protect what’s mine and protect me and when I’m in here, this is just like being at home,” he said.
Grenig is part of a community of small business owners in Garfield Heights, some of whom contributed to a $500 reward, that is now being offered for information leading to the arrest of the late-night vandal.
“We kind of stick together, and we’re backing each other, and we need to stand up, this can’t happen, we’re not going to stand for it anymore, just not going to happen,” he said.
The video shows that the man was traveling on foot, and because of that, investigators believe he may live in the neighborhood around Turney Road.