CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – Vandals smashed through the front of a Citrus Heights coffee shop, and it’s not the first time.
Police say property crime is on the rise throughout the city and say California laws may be to blame.
“Glass was all over in here, it was in the sofas, the whole nine yards,” said the owner of Java Cherry, Louise Cordray.
It’s a scene Cordray has sadly seen before: a shattered front window at her coffee shop.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” she said.
Vandals have hit the shop three times in the five years Cordray’s been in business.
“I wish this on nobody because it’s frustrating. You try to bring something special to a neighborhood,” she said, disappointed.
Often she’ll find homeless or their trash outside her business, and she thinks they may be to blame.
“It’s personal. I spend more hours here than I do at my own home, so it feels like your backyard,” Cordray said.
“We do have multiple complaints about homelessness,” said Sgt. Jason Baldwin with the department.
Citrus Heights police said property crimes are on the rise with a 27 percent increase in just the last year.
“We certainly do feel for them and we are trying to do everything we can to catch people and hold people accountable,” Baldwin said.
California’s recent sentencing reductions make their job even more difficult, according to police.
“We have Proposition 47 or the Safe Schools Act, those types of things have been a revolving door for criminals down at the jail,” he said.
And it’s hurting small business owners.
“This is a one-man operation, but I’ve managed to stay open for five years and that’s dedication, day in and day out doing what needs to be done,” Cordray said.
But it’s a labor of love and she won’t let these crimes keep her from offering up a cup of coffee.
“It is special, families come here, kids come here,” she added.
She just hopes to keep her loyal customers happy and the vandals out of her business.
Citrus Heights Police have been extremely proactive in helping business owners prevent crime.