Leesburg, Virginia, police are hoping to find out who smashed through the doors of two businesses over the weekend — the latest of more than a dozen such break-ins in Northern Virginia in recent months.
On Tuesday, boards still covered the glass doors that were smashed in around 2 a.m. Saturday at The Compounding Center at the Virginia Village shopping center, which is at the corner of Catoctin Circle and King Street.
"[I received a] phone call from the alarm company. Yeah, you never want to get that in the middle of the night," said Cheri Garvin, the owner and operator of The Compounding Center.
Garvin said police were on the scene by the time she hurried over.
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The suspect or suspects made it inside the business and broke windows into the lab area. The Compounding Center is a medical supply store and specialized pharmacy, where medication is made to order.
That’s why Garvin says the suspects probably came away mostly empty-handed.
"I have a feeling they were probably very disappointed because we don’t carry the drugs they were likely looking for," she said.
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Garvin said she’s thankful there was no one in the store at the time. It's the first time her business has ever been targeted.
"There’s anger and irritation and the senselessness of it for them to break in. You know, you take it personally. It's your business that you’ve worked hard to build," she said.
Burglars have hit 13 other businesses in Leesburg alone, and in the past year, there have been similar incidents in Prince William and Fauquier counties. But Leesburg police don’t know if the weekend break-ins are connected to any of the others.
Police urged store owners to take steps to discourage break-ins including:
- leaving interior lights on or having motion-activated lighting
- leaving cash drawers empty and open when the business is closed
- having security cameras and audible alarms
Garvin said The Compounding Center ordered an upgraded security system three months ago, but they had not installed it due to a parts issue.