Man burglarizes local store; Owners hope someone recognizes him

Man burglarizes local store; Owners hope someone recognizes him

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The owners of Tipton's Fine Jewelry, located on Gore Boulevard and 18th Street in Lawton are hoping that someone recognizes the man who broke into their store just before two in the morning Thursday.

He stopped at the jewelry counter closest to the door before moving to another glass counter, swiping the jewelry that was left out overnight.

The Tipton's do not think this is the first time he's burglarized a store because he was in and out in one minute and didn't seem to be bothered by the blaring alarm or the risk of getting caught.

But during that minute, he broke the glass on four jewelry cases, grabbed what he was looking for, and got out of the building before police arrived.

Store owner Kathy Tipton said she and her husband got the call from their security company in the middle of the night that some movement had been detected in the store. She said she tried to remain optimistic, but once she got to the store, reality set in.

"Oh, not again, basically what a mess, leave us alone," Tipton said.

She said they stayed at the store until noon cleaning up the damage, and tried to determine what had been stolen.

Tipton said they minimize that risk by putting almost all of their jewelry away each night.

"So, it wasn't so much how much merchandise he got, but how much damage he did and how frustrating it is to get up in the middle of the night and have to clean up the huge mess," Tipton said.

Since they put their valuable jewelry away the thief spends more time planning and breaking in than it's worth.

"The thing is, what they get on the streets for this, it isn't worth the damage that they are doing and the money that they get for what they're getting," Tipton said.  

Tipton said they are prepared for the worst but they can't live in fear.

"Anything can happen anywhere, I mean, that's just part of the world today. Anything can happen," Tipton said.

The business has been open for 35 years this month and they said this isn't the first time they've been burglarized. Tipton said with the video and the police looking for him she doesn't think he will get away with it very long.

"People need a job and need to go work for money instead of taking from people that do work hard," Tipton said.

They are still waiting for the glass on the cases that were smashed in to be replaced, but all the broken glass has been cleaned up. The store was back to normal business hours on Friday.

The suspect is described as a young black male. He has a goatee, and was last seen wearing a flat bill cap and warm-up suit. If you have any information call Crime stoppers at 580-355-INFO.

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