CHARLOTTE, NC (News21USA): – Property crimes increased nationwide in 2022, according to FBI crime statistics released last month, and they are hurting businesses.
A small business owner in Charlotte, North Carolina’s arts district, NoDa, told News21USA News that his store had been broken into for the eighth time recently.
NoDa Bodega owner Bryan Moore described the neighborhood as “an attractive place to live” with “a lot of people, I think, more affluent.”
However, Moore said crime reparations are taking a bite out of his bottom line.
“You come in and get a hundred dollars and we have to spend $500 to $600 to replace a door,” Moore told News21USA News.
The owner of a nearby wine bar and restaurant, Artisan’s Palate, said her establishment has been attacked four times this year.
The homeowner, who did not want to appear on camera, told News21USA News she is “fed up” after replacing another damaged door and said she’s not sure what else to do to prevent thefts.
The NoDa neighborhood has new restaurants, bars and condos popping up everywhere, and the NoDa Business Association said they have increased patrols and are urging people to report any lights out in the area.
North Carolina Wesleyan University criminologist Jay Fortenbery said property crimes are often linked to poverty and unemployment.
“They make a rational choice depending on the weight of the crime, the punishment versus the reward,” Fortenbery said. “Are rewards more beneficial than punishments right now and what are the chances of us getting caught?”
Moore sees no end in sight to the criminal activity. “At this point, it’s become the nature of doing business,” he said.
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FBI crime data in 2022 shows that only 14% of stolen property was recovered.