CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Laundry is a never-ending cycle and Quick Trip Laundry located in a shopping center along the city’s southside is where many go from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. to complete a cycle or two.
“Business has stayed pretty steady, we’ve been lucky enough to be able to stay open during the pandemic because we’re an essential business,” said owner Drew Vandan.
Owner Drew VanDam works to keep the doors of this family-owned business open.
“Me and my dad run them together. I officially took over probably about 6 months ago,” said Vandam.
While doing so, he’s seeing another cycle happen right inside his store.
“He’s just causing a ton of damage,” said Vandam.
‘He’ is the man in the image below. A man who has been breaking into the store and he’s broken in more than once.
“Six,” said Vandam.
Six times and Vandam says it all started a year ago.
“January 29 of 2020, but that was probably about 18 hundred dollars’ worth of damage and he got I think $800 in cash and coin from us,” said Vandam.
Since then, Vandam says the man with the bike and hat hasn’t stopped.
“In the past two years he’s done like two thousand dollars’ worth of damage totaling up and only getting about 800 dollars in money from us,” said Vandam.
Police reports have been and enhance security measure have been taken.
“We bought new security cameras, we got more enhanced cameras, they're 4K. I can zoom in, I can look from my bedroom from across town. I can watch it anywhere, “said Vandam.
“I installed these speaker systems in here that are hooked up to an Alexa system so at my house at 2 o’clock in the morning if I see him in here, I can basically talk to him through the speaker system.”
Despite all these measures taken, Vandam says the man keeps coming back.
“It was that back row right there. It’s completely gone now,” said Vandam. “We basically had to get rid of the machines because it was too expensive to fix them from the damage that he caused.”
Corpus Christi police say since the pandemic they’ve seen a shift in burglaries.
“Burglars have shifted to the burglary of business rather than burglary of a residence because the people are at their house,” said Lieutenant Michael Pena.
Businesses live Vandam’s, but he says although it keeps happening, he is seeing it as a positive rather than a negative.
“It brought attention to things we need to focus on our security, we got more camera, we got better cameras, we got schedule on our doors,” said Vandam.
Police say they’re doing what they can to help catch the man.
“I wish we could solve crimes in 30 minutes or less like they do on TV, but it is a process, and we want to cross our T’s dot our I’s and make sure we have the right person identified and go and pick them up by all means,” said Lieutenant Pena.
Vandam says he’s hoping that with help from the police and the community, this cycle can end.
“I’m gonna continue to fix my machines, we’re gonna continue to stay here, we’re gonna continue to stay open and be vigilant and watch for him,” said Vandam.