Lithonia shop owners frustrated amid string of car, business break-ins

Some business owners in Lithonia are frustrated after a string of burglaries and car break-ins reported near Stonecrest Mall earlier this week. 

Surveillance video caught the crooks in action at a nail shop DeKalb County police said was hit last Sunday morning just after 4 a.m. 

“It’s really heartbreaking, to be honest, because just a couple of weeks ago, our cars got broken into already,” Couture Nails and Spa shop owner Jennifer Pham said. 

Pham told FOX 5 her goal when opening the shop four years ago was to create a tranquil experience for her customers. She says these past few days have been anything but that.

“Coming in, getting their nails and toes done … it’s supposed to feel really relaxing and calm, right?” she said. “They broke in our door at 4:40 in the morning. There’s three guys that came inside really fast.” 

Video showed the suspects taking the cash register, which Pham said was empty. While she told FOX 5 they only got away with two ID cards, damage to the shop’s front desk computer and door amounted to around $3,000.

Pham said break-ins have been an ongoing issue in recent months. First, it was their cars, now it’s her shop and others.

“My auntie’s shop got broken in just right around the corner, five minutes away from here. [It] got broken in two times in just one week,” she recalled. “We feel so unsafe. Like, [we] go to work, our cars parked outside get broken in, and now our shop got broken into.”

Jennifer Pham, the owner of Couture Nails and Spa told FOX 5 the repeated break-ins are making it harder to give her clients the tranquil experience that’s always been part of her business model. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

Pham said they have taken steps to beef up security by installing a new system in addition to the cameras they already had. 

“It’s not just about the money, it’s about the safety. We put our safety of employees and customers first,” she added.

In the meantime, Pham said she’s urging other business owners to be aware and hoping to see more of a police presence in the area.

DeKalb County Police said this was one of two burglaries reported in the area Sunday. FOX 5 reached out to see whether they had plans for additional patrols. We’re still waiting to hear back.

If you have any information that could help identify the suspects, give police a call.

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