KENT, Wash. - Owners at Northwest Tri & Bike are speaking out after criminals used a stolen vehicle to ram the back of their building last week.
Video shared with FOX 13 News shows a blue pickup truck ramming the back entrance of Northwest Tri and Bike on Sept. 16. Several people wearing concealing clothing can be seen trying to gain entry after the truck wrecks the business’ steel door.
"You see the truck just over and over, trying to ram and get in," said co-owner Andrew Nuez. "I mean, they were pretty determined. Luckily, we were able to get ahead of them and call police because we were watching the cameras."
Nuez said the attempted break-in isn’t the first time he’s had to file a police report.
"This is the ninth time if you consider last night’s second attempt on the building," he said. "It’s just pure frustration. How do you continue to run a successful business when you’re dealing with stuff like this all the time?"
Nuez and his business partner tell FOX 13 News they’ve had to invest in added security.
"We have cameras, locks on almost everything, protective barriers outside our store and on the windows. There’s not much you can do to keep them out," he said.
A year ago, almost to the date, the store Northwest Tri & Bike suffered a major blow when someone drove through the front of their store, causing massive damage and made off with merchandise.
"On that one, it was a stolen vehicle," said Nuez. "We’re constantly being targeted, and it impacts our business and the community. It’s time, time that we should be spending keeping people on their bicycles, selling people new bikes, helping the kids in the area stay on their bikes and get to school. Instead, I am filling out police reports. I’m spending time working with insurance companies."
In an effort to help the locally owned business the biking community has set up an online fundraising campaign to help offset the cost of insurance claims.
"Opened by Brad Williams and now owned and operated by Ian Fishel & Andrew Nuez, NWTB is a very important part of the multisport community in the Pacific Northwest," fundraising organizers wrote. "Those of us at Raise the Bar, along with many other teams and athletes, would deeply regret the loss of the shop and the tremendous resource they are to us. We are family! Please consider making a donation to help Andrew and Ian get the shop back on its feet stronger than ever and focusing on what they do best - taking care of the cycling and multisport customers they know as friends."
So far the campaign has raised more than $10,000.
"This community is very special to us," said Nuez’s wife Kimarie. "Stress levels are high all the time because of these acts of vandalism. "We’d rather spend the time providing entertainment and exercise for people with bicycles."
Kent Police are asking anyone with information about the Sept. 16 smash-and-grab to give the department a call at (253) 852-2121. So far, there have been no arrests.
"We’re just going to keep our focus on providing the best service we can," said Nuez. "We love biking. I think it’s the best sport in the world."