Adrian Blanco is no stranger to acts of vandalism at his downtown Davis workplace. But even this left the manager of de Luna Jewelers appalled.
Over a 40-minute period early Thursday morning, vandals and thieves smashed in a window at the 521 Second St. store, then helped themselves to pieces from a Native American pottery and doll display before someone finally called the police.
“Where’s the sense of responsibility?” Blanco, 32, said in an interview Friday. “There’s a huge lack of moral compass, of people just not caring.”
Davis police are investigating the incidents, much of which were caught on security video.
Blanco said he was alerted at 3:50 a.m. Thursday to reports of a glass break-in at de Luna Jewelers, a family-owned business that’s been a fixture at Second and E streets since 1967.
He arrived to discover that, in addition to the broken glass, someone had taken Native American pottery and Hopi Kachina dolls from a popular window display that reflected store owner Richard Luna’s New Mexico roots.
“I’ve dealt with break-ins before, but I’ve never dealt with anyone breaking in just for pottery,” Blanco said. So he decided to review the store’s security video to see whether there was more than what initially met the eye.
Turns out, there was.
The footage shows four men walking along the store’s Second Street side at about 2:40 a.m., two of them engaged in a fight. During the scuffle, one of the men appears to hit a glass pane and crack it; a third man inspects the damage, then finishes the job with two kicks to the window pane.
The window shattered, “and they all ran away,” Blanco said. But the business’ glass-break alarm failed to sound, and the vandalism went unreported.
What happened next gives new meaning to the term “window shopping.”
At 3:13 a.m. — more than half an hour after the glass break — two men passing by the damaged window reached in and took their own souvenirs from the Native American display, Blanco said. So did a group of three women and two men who happened upon the scene at 3:20 a.m.
That’s about the same time somebody walking their dog spotted the damage and reported it to police. But up until that point, “seven different groups walked by, stopped, looked, and kept walking,” Blanco said.
He noted the suspects all appeared to be college-age, though he acknowledges has know way of knowing whether they’re local residents.
The damage and loss to the business is “in the thousands” of dollars, Blanco said. Davis police have classified the incident as a burglary, and Lt. Glenn Glasgow said each person who took something from the window display could be found guilty of the crime.
“Even though the window was already broken, they still entered the premises with the intent of committing a crime,” Glasgow said.
And it’s not just an isolated problem, Blanco said. Just about every week, store employees arrive in the morning to find downtown visitors have spit on their windows, scratched the glass, dumped their trash in the doorway or urinated on the wall on their way home from a night of bar-hopping.
“I have nothing against the bars,” said Blanco, who admits to doing his fair share of partying in his younger days. “But never once did we feel the need to vandalize. I just don’t get it.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism and thefts is asked to contact the Davis Police Department at 530-747-5400.
— Reach Lauren Keene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene