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Rash of break-ins at local breweries and wineries

Posted at 5:02 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 21:16:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Frustrated business owners are speaking out after a rash of break-ins at local wineries and breweries.

Lisa Miller, the co-owner of Koi Zen Cellars in Carmen Mountain Ranch, says her heart sank after she arrived at her winery one morning a few weeks ago.

"The plant was move to the side and the window was completely shattered. My heart started pounding. I got very anxious," said Miller.

Inside, she tasted more anxiety. Police believe the intruder was looking for the cash register, something Miller doesn't have. Instead, the burglar grabbed 40 pieces of consignment jewelry valued at more than $1,000.

"When the detective arrived, he said this has been happening in other wineries and breweries in the area," said Miler.

Longship Brewery in Mira Mesa in early April: surveillance video shows a person in a hoodie breaking a window, then crawling through the window. Two days later at the Black Plague Brewery in Oceanside, an intruder wearing a mask and hoodie kicked through a window, slipped in and raced right for the cash drawer, before leaving and driving off in a white Jeep Patriot. Detectives told Miller some 18 breweries and wineries targeted in the past few months.

"This makes me really sad, mom-and-pop places put their heart and soul into their business no matter what their business is. It's extra expenses and extra violation," said Miller.

Miller believes the thief is targeting wineries and breweries because they're located in business parks, which have less foot traffic.

Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477.