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Recent Store Robberies Frustrate Children's Orchard Owner

A stroller worth $700 was the third item stolen recently from the store on Del Obispo Street in San Juan Capistrano.

An expensive stroller was grabbed midday Tuesday from a storefront on Del Obispo Street, the latest in a trio of thefts from the local outpost of , the store owner said. 

"This recent increase in [taking] high-priced items is hurting me. I am a small-business owner struggling to stay in business, and these thefts hurt me and my employees," said owner Debbie Brown.

Brown said that at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, a man in his early 20s and wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses took a stroller valued at $700 from the front of the store. "We have surveillance cameras but were unable to make out the description because of the sun," she said.

Despite employee precautions, such as checking tags and monitoring surveillance footage, a high-end BMX bike worth $199 and a $35-nursing cover were also recently stolen.

Sheriff's Lt. John Meyer, chief of , said the recent incidents are likely just crimes "of opportunity and need."

The Children's Orchard franchise resells slightly used kids' clothing, toys, furniture, equipment, books and accessories.

"It’s just really sad that people have to get desperate enough to steal, but to steal from a secondhand store? That just makes it worse," Brown lamented.

Kim McCarthy July 13, 2011 at 09:53 PM
CE, I don't follow you...If a guy steals a $700 stroller to sell to buy meth the OCSD would label it a crime of 'opportunity and need' therefore this guy won't become a full time criminal, just a part-time criminal? When I see government agencies label anything it is usually to mislead and pacify tax-payers...for instance 'underserved' 'title one' and a host of others....labeling is just another form on RED / Rationalizing Excusing and Denying --a smoke screen to shut-up taxpayers.
OCPraetorian July 13, 2011 at 11:35 PM
They weren't robberies, which require force or threat of force. They were thefts. I wish Children's Orchard would keep it's stuff in the store, so the plaza didn't look like a swap meet.
OCPraetorian July 13, 2011 at 11:37 PM
And that "fill a bag" sign in the photo is a violation of the city's sign code, too. And if Ms. McCarthy is trying to sell her home and get out of here, I'll be the first to bid.
Jenna Chandler July 13, 2011 at 11:43 PM
I'm pretty confident, CE, that's what Lt. Meyer meant ... We're talking about someone who probably doesn't have a long criminal rap sheet, that's not to say the incident is any less important in law enforcement's eyes. Categorizing types of criminals and criminal activities is important for data-keeping and statistics-reporting—which we rely on to bring you news about crime here in town! I'll send Lt. Meyer a link to the story, like you've asked, and if he responds, I'll let you know!
DB July 17, 2011 at 03:41 PM
I just think that it is sad that people choose to steal, and that local small businesses suffer as a result. We frequent the Children's Orchard, and everything is well organized and clean. Other shops put items out front as well, all over the plaza. It is simply not the store owners fault that items were stolen...

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