Auburn business owner installs "hog wire" to try to prevent theft, meets with police chief about crime

The owner of Antique Marketplace, Carly Willis, installed thick wire over the window at the antique shop where thieves broke in a few weeks ago. When she closes up shop now, she also pulls a metal gate over the doors as an added level of protection.   

When she first opened, she wanted customers to feel like they could exit the outside world and take a break inside. She feels the gate and security wire stand in contrast to that mission.  

"Now it feels like they are being enclosed, and I hate that," she said.

The "hog wire" as Willis calls it, extends the whole length of all 12 of her windows in the store. She began fortifying the marketplace after thieves smashed through a window on Easter weekend – stealing jewelry and leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage. 

"It will at least slow them down. No guarantees, but it’s all I can do at this point," said Willis.  

She's called on the city at council meetings to do more to fight crime. This week, the chief of police met with business owners to explain what's being done.  

After meeting with Auburn Police, Willis says there are some changes underway that have helped to curb a rash of burglaries and thefts that have plagued her business and other businesses in the area since the start of the new year.  

"They’ve been doing an emphasis on this area," said Willis. "Patrols with a bit more than usual."

She says the patrols may be helping, as incidents of drug use, shoplifting and theft seemed to have declined.  

"It sounds like they made contact with 200 people, outside any arrests or things like that, and it does seem to have helped in the last couple of weeks, so I am thankful for that," she said. 

Still, Willis says business owners in the plaza are talking about hiring additional private security.

"Really it’s us against the world at this point. They made it clear in the meeting, that they can’t do any more than they are doing," said Willis.  

She says she'll also continue to try to secure her business as best she can.   

"Haven’t had any break-ins, but as you can see, I got my wire up," said Willis. "Nothing I ever wanted to do, but here we are, so we have to protect ourselves." 

Willis says she plans to get together with other business owners to create something to present to lawmakers during the next legislative session.