Windows smashed and businesses robbed aren’t exactly unusual in Eureka, but a crime spree along F Street in downtown Eureka over the past few days has been particularly disturbing.
Early Friday morning, a fool threw a Molotov cocktail at the new Sangha Tattoo Studio location. Hours later, in what is believed to be an unrelated incident, a separate jerk was discovered to have broken into the Eureka Theater and stolen a laptop. Also, during this same general period, another or possibly the same jerk attempted to break into Dalianes Travel but was unable to enter the business.
Jackie Silva, body piercer and co-owner of Sangha, told the Outpost she received a call from Advanced Security Systems around 1:50 a.m. Friday that the motion detector had gone off and the building was on fire.
“I literally jumped out of bed in my bathrobe and pajamas, put on some shoes and went down to the store,” she said. “At that point, I was just thinking, ‘Oh my God, my livelihood is on the line – our livelihood is all on the line.’ When I arrived, I saw flames, shards of glass and smoke had engulfed the entire store….You hear of businesses being robbed, but something like this is devastating. It’s so surreal.
Humboldt Bay Fire Department and Eureka Police Department responded to the scene. EPD Captain Brian Stephens confirmed that “some type of device containing an accelerant” had been thrown at the building. “We found evidence at the scene that indicates this was a targeted event, not just a random act,” he added.
Spray-painted on the sidewalk in front of Sangha is a note that appears to say, “3 years to fix my tattoo.” When asked if any disgruntled customers come to mind, Silva replied, “We have absolutely no idea.”
(See more damage to Sangha Tattoo in the embedded Instagram post at the end of this article.)
“We have no idea who wrote this or if they even have a legit beef,” she said. “We’ve been spinning around in our heads trying to think who could have done this to our store, who would have had a problem. I mean, we respect our work. If someone has ever been unhappy with something, we’ll do everything we can to make it right, to make sure that at the end of the day that person is taken care of and walks out of our door extremely happy. We are very accommodating to our customers and our reputation in the community is super positive.
If the fire had spread, it could have affected nearby businesses, she added. “If it was personal, whoever did it didn’t take into account that we weren’t the only ones affected. We have neighbors who have been there for years and their livelihoods could also have been affected. To be taken. “
The fire did not spread far beyond the entrance, but there is extensive smoke damage throughout the store.
“New Life Service Co. got everything on board for us yesterday and installed fans and ozone generators to run over the weekend to eliminate the smell of smoke,” Silva said. “The next step is for them to come in and clean up because they’re trained for that kind of stuff. It is extremely important that every bit of soot is cleaned up as this is a tattoo and piercing shop and we need to be able to maintain a sterile environment. … Unfortunately until then, none of us can work, so we are all financially affected.
Randy Meyer, tattoo artist and co-owner of Sangha, thanked the community for their support during this difficult time and said any information leading to the culprit could earn someone a free tattoo.
“A few people from the shop offered free tattoos for information,” he said. “We would love to help anyone with a tattoo who can provide viable leads to who did this.”
Fast forward to 9:40 a.m. when EPD responded to a reported break-in at the Eureka Theater.
“We were called to come down and do a security check of the building,” Stephens said. “I think it was initially reported as a broken door, but it ended up being a broken window. Our officers went to clear the building. They located another broken window on the third floor. The manager told us that the only thing taken was a laptop from the screening room.
The suspect is believed to have broken into the theater through the third floor window.
“The assumption is that someone climbed to the end of a solid concrete building, which was a feat of perseverance and strength at least,” said Gregg Foster, chairman of the theater’s board of trustees. Eureka. Outpost. “They broke into the screening room and took the laptop, which was not alarmed. We don’t know for sure, but we believe they came down the stairs to the second-floor lobby. and that’s when the alarm went off. It’s pretty loud, so they probably ran downstairs and broke one of the windows in the interior doors to get out.
Fortunately, the historic etched glass was not damaged, he added.
“We were really lucky that they seemed to be more interested in getting out of the building rather than trashing the place or trying to find something else to steal,” he said. “The unfortunate thing is that we are relying on donations, revenue and grants to restore the building and now we are going to spend more money upgrading our alarm system, getting interior cameras and fixing our windows. .”
EPD, with the help of the K-9 unit from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the theater this morning after the alarm went off, but it appears to have been a fluke.
“We found no signs of forced entry into the building this morning, so we don’t know what triggered this alarm,” Stephens said. “It’s a very large old building and sometimes the doors can open or something can set off the motion alarm inside today. We found no signs of anything being taken or altered.
The Eureka Theater hosted the premiere of The craftsman Friday night, a new series featuring Eric Hollenbeck, the owner of local business Blue Ox Millworks. Foster said the door latch was “a bit funky” and could have been messed with during the event. “The door could have exploded. Nothing was disturbed, nothing was touched.
There was an attempted break-in at Dalianes Travel just down the street from the theater on Friday morning as well. Stephens said the alarm went off but the suspect was unable to enter the businesses.
The incidents are unlikely to be related, but Stephens encouraged members of the community to contact EPD for any information on the aforementioned incidents.
“If anyone saw anything suspicious or was in the area at the time of these incidents, please call us and let us know what you saw,” he said. “It could be anything from someone walking away [from the scene of the incident] and which direction they went so we can try to find additional surveillance cameras that might catch them.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4044.