COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus police are investigating multiple break-ins reported at Mission Square shopping center on University Avenue.
The latest break-in happened over the weekend. According to store-owner at Veros Boutique, thieves broke in, ransacked the establishment, and stole thousands of dollars of merchandise.
“Cash register gone, iPad gone, Everything gone," said Verrico Crocker, owner of Veros Boutique.
Just days following shipment of new inventory, Crocker says his newly opened and upscale boutique is now left empty.
“I’m just lost for words right now," spoke Crocker. “This is a black-owned business. We are supposed to be uplifting and supporting each other," says Crocker.
A neighboring business employee in the Mission Square shopping center says Veros is not the only business targeted in recent months.
However, others describe the area as generally quiet and a nice place to work.
“It’s always been a nice, safe, quiet environment. We have been here for 12 years," says Stephanie Jones, office manager at the Maid Brigade.
The break-ins are prompting business owners to take matters into their own hands by upgrading security and measures, and making sure staffers are more aware.
“We do take security measures during the day. We do have our doors locked. We also have an alarm system and cut it on as we leave. Things happen. But you always have to be aware of your surroundings and be aware of things going on, even in broad daylight," says Jones.
Many say they would like to see more police patrolling the area.
Columbus police are in the process of reviewing surveillance video for possible leads on suspects.
An area jewelry store was also burglarized as well as an area hair braiding shop.
Veros Boutique is currently closed. Crocker says he will re-open soon.