vandalism

Thieves Hit Bernardo Winery As It Recovers From Boil Water Advisory

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On the heels of a boil water advisory that shut down business for nearly a week, the owners of Bernardo Winery woke up to another financial hit Tuesday morning.

Employees alerted sibling owners Ross Rizzo and Sam Nawrocki to some small theft including propane tanks and holiday decorations, but when they got there they discovered six copper valves were also stolen from inside their agriculture shed.

"It's totally violating, totally violating," said Rizzo. "Those valves are worth between $2,400 and $2,500."

The winery lost tens of thousands of dollars due to last week’s boil water advisory, and they’ll have to work overtime to recover from this theft, too.

One of their vendor shop's security cameras captured a man walking through their courtyard area around midnight Tuesday morning and flicking a cigarette into bushes. Then it caught a man around 4:30 a.m. walking through again.

"It’s like the Grinch stole Christmas because they took kind of
everything – decorations, supplies, they took a propane tank here," said
Nawrocki.

More holiday decorations were seen thrashed across their vineyard and
Christmas character was mangled around a grape vine.

"There was a couple big reindeer here that were sitting here,"
explained Nawrocki. "He literally just unplugged them and took off with
them. They were like this big (showing they were taller than her shoulders in
size.) We are getting ready for Holiday Nights (their six-day holiday festival)
next week, so we are ramping up and they took a lot of our holiday decorations."

Deputies responded to the winery to investigate. They asked for the surveillance footage and the cigarette the man was seen throwing out into the bushes.

Suspects in prior burglaries at the winery have been found, according to Rizzo, and he hopes the same will come of this investigation.

"It would be nice if they find whoever did this one, too,” he said.

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