Diane Manuppella, owner of Colorado Electric Bikes in Grand Junction, spent Wednesday night in her office. Not because she needed to get some work done, but after two break-ins in four nights she didn’t want to take any chances.
“We often see the same type of businesses burglarized, but to have it happen to the same business is unusual,” Grand Junction Police Department Sergeant Lonnie Chavez said.
Manuppella said that her son arrived to the business on Sunday morning and found the windows broken into.
“Somebody threw (something) through the window. There was a camouflaged covered mountain fat tire bike sitting at the front of the store,” she said.
Manuppella estimated that it was worth around $4,000.
Over the next 48 hours, Manuppella and her husband made sure to cable everything in the store that they could: bikes, helmets and anything else that could be nailed down. They also had the security cameras fixed up.
At 3:13 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Manuppella got a ding on her phone that the new cameras had picked something up and her store was being broken into again.
“I didn’t even pull up video, I just immediately called 911,” she said. “My husband was watching them. They broke a different window and we watched them running around inside the store unable to remove anything with everything cabled.”
Unfortunately, there were three bikes in the store, one being built and two still in their boxes, that the theives were able to steal, estimated to be worth around $7,000.
“It was really scary. I haven’t slept all week,” Manuppella added.
The store has since been boarded up with a sliding steel gate added for security.
It wasn’t the only neighborhood business burglarized in the past week.
Grand Junction Police Department officials are hoping for the community help identifying suspects involved in a string of burglaries, including the one at Colorado Electric Bikes.
All-Terrain Motorsports on the I-70 Business Loop was also broken into. Photos captured show the same vehicle involved in both burglaries, according to the GJPD. The total property damage is estimated to be more than $1,500.
A scan through recent crimes reported to Crime Stoppers of Mesa County shows this isn’t the first brazen burglary local law enforcement have had to look into recently.
On Nov. 24, 2020, an unknown person allegedly shot the front door of a business located in the 2900 block of Patterson Road. Just before the end of the year, an unknown suspect allegedly cut a hole in the exterior fence of Perri’s Powersports and stole an ATV with snowplow attached on Dec. 29. A month earlier, an armed robbery also occurred at a gaming business in town on Nov. 29.
Chavez admitted the GJPD has seen burglars targeting business, a lot of car thefts at dealership offices, storage unit attacks and one person drove through the doors of JC Penny’s recently.