MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - Safes and vaults have long been thought to be the last word in protecting a business from thieves and burglars.
But that is not the case in Snohomish County, where another store has had its expensive lockbox swiped along with other valuables. After celebrating a day to be thankful, the latest smash-and-grab has a Mountlake Terrace butcher shop picking up the pieces from someone's selfish act.
FOX 13 talked to Kim Nygard, the store's owner, who told us the thief tried breaking into the back of the building first, without success.
At that point, he picked up a rock and threw it into the store's front window, shattering it. The thief then stole the store's safe and a gumball machine.
"We started in 1955 here," Nygard said. "My father actually started here as a cleanup kid in the 50s, and bought it in the 70s, and then I bought in 2014 from my father."
For almost 70 years, Double DD meats has been a staple in Mountlake Terrace, selling the latest cuts and connecting with customers.
Early Sunday morning, Nygard and her store became a victim of a serious burglary, putting a damper on the holiday cheer.
"It just kind of makes me sad that people have to resort to that," Nygard said.
Just before 2 a.m., someone in a face mask broke into the butcher shop.
"Every night, we pull the drawers out of all of our registers," Nygard said. "We have money in there to start the next day. That was all in there. We had the cash from the last three weeks in there. We didn't make it to the bank Saturday night, which we're kicking ourselves [over]. We had just done the deposits and they were ready to go to the bank, and we didn't drop them off because we went to a movie."
Also locked in the safe was the employees' tip money, as well as money the shop raised to donate to a local scholarship fund.
"All the change," Nygard said. "We had all the fives, ones—we probably had $2,000 worth of quarters in there, so he got quite a bit of cash."
The store has only dealt with a crime like this once before.
"Probably 20 years ago," Nygard said. "Everything they were able to do, we had fixed. We were thinking, ‘Oh, it's never going to happen again. And I have like 30 cameras in here.’"
Nygard told FOX 13 News they're already getting a new safe that will be bolted to the concrete foundation of the store. She said it's a pain to deal with, but they're glad their inventory is safe and no one was hurt.
"Because we are part of the community, we help people if they need the help," Nygard said. "But, to steal like that is just really disheartening."
According to the Snohomish County Crime Data Dashboard, there have been 650 reports of burglary so far this year. About half of those have been businesses—seven have involved a safe vault. That does not include the latest theft at Double DD Meats.