A string of bait and tackle shop robberies have some shop owners in the industry worried they’ll be next.
The latest break-in happened this weekend at S.D. Tackle Traders in Kearny Mesa. Security cameras caught the two thieves in the act, and are helping police track down the crooks responsible.
Police say the burglars left behind a piece of evidence that might help investigators crack the case
The footage shows two crooks use a crowbar to bust through the front door of the tackle shop at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
“You feel violated,” shop co-owner John Nichols said. “This is how we provide for our families, and someone comes in overnight and takes what we built over 10 years in a few minutes. It's devastating."
Shattered glass from the display case was left behind after the thieves made off with rods and reels worth up to $100,000.
Nichols said the thieves knew which product to look for.
“They got all the high-end stuff, all of our higher end Shimano reels,” he said.
In March burglars stole almost $90,000 worth of equipment from Dana Landing Market in Mission Bay.
According to police, three burglars used a saw to cut locks and stole equipment from display cases. They put only high-end gear into a few trash bins and hurried out.
“It's just a big pain,” Nichols said. “It's disappointing. It's certainly becoming worse and worse and not going away.”
Nichols is making a list of rods and reels stolen from his shop to give to police. He also gave authorities a cooler the thieves brought in and left behind.
"Someone out there knows who did this and hopefully they'll turn them in,” he said.
At this point, SDPD hasn’t determined the two bait shop break-ins are connected, but both stores say they continue to increase their security measures.
Nichols says his shop is now only seeing customers by appointment.