Omaha business battles break-ins 4 times in 1 week, sees no end in sight

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 2:06 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A family-owned business in midtown is boarding their windows and doors after they were broken into multiple times in just a week.

"Why? Why us? Why us, you know?"

That’s the question constantly going through Sara Carreño’s mind, the Selena’s Market Manager.

“Just give us a break. Leave us alone, we’re not messing with nobody,” said Sara.

Over the past week, Selena's Market has been broken into four times.

Sara Carreño has been working at Selena's for 10 years, her brother opened the grocery store five years earlier, naming it after his daughter.

Carreño never thought she'd see their doors and windows boarded up.

“It’s hard to have to close all of our windows, you know. Looks bad on the store but nothing else we can do,” said Carreño.

This saga started a week ago, they didn't make it in all the way, but the next day four young men - OPD estimates between the ages of 18 and 24 - broke into the back of the store.

“Like a nightmare. Like me watching the videos it’s like oh my god. They were really here, it’s just hard,” said Carreño.

The group took cash from the office that Carreño's brother didn't take home.

It was everything they made from their weekend sales, a huge hit during an already trying time.

“Especially right now with everything going on, with the COVID and everything, we are trying to make a living.”

I spoke with an officer with OPD’s Business Watch Unit, in addition to their security camera’s, she recommends lighting things up.

“We like bright lights on the exterior. On the inside, we like dim lights. Something so if somebody is driving by, they could see if somebody were on the inside,” said Angie Echtenkamp, with the Business Watch Unit.

The owner of Selena's took that advice, they've had two more break-ins since.

In the latest attempt - the thieves were unsuccessful in breaking into the register. Even still, the Selena’s Market family is feeling helpless.

With no leads on who these four are they see no end to the break-ins.

“If this keeps up it’s just - I don’t know what we’re going to do. But right now, it’s a lot of fear going around, you know so, I just hope it stops,” said Carreño.

OPD will increase patrols in the area if there are requests - the Business Watch Unit will also come by and do a security audit of the business and discuss their specific needs.

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