MADISONVILLE, OH (FOX19) - A Madisonville consignment shop owner is now keeping her store doors locked during business hours, after getting robbed twice.
District Two Police said they are close to catching the thieves. "The Way We Were Consignments" has a loyal base of customers who buy and sell there. But familiar face or brand new customer, they want to get a good look at your face, before letting anyone in there now.
For almost 30 years, the consignment shop has been a favorite haunt for all things vintage. But check the front door now.
"We come in, in the morning and we lock the door," said long-time employee Mary Sampson. "And we don't open it up for nobody that we don't know."
The shop is open for business, but not taking any more chances, after getting robbed twice in a matter of weeks. The first time was Oct. 4, along busy Madison Road, around midday.
"I had a 25-year-old girl customer and these two people rushed in the door with masks and one gun," said shop owner Shirley McKenrick.
The two men ordered the woman to get on the floor.
"And the gun was on the girl and that scared me," McKenrick said.
The pair demanded McKenrick open the cash register.
"I didn't freak," she said. "I thought don't hurt her."
No one got hurt luckily, and the men grabbed about 86 bucks then took off.
"It happened that quick and they were out the door before I could even scream," McKenrick said.
Then, just last Tuesday, a second hit to the shop.
"I had just come back from a follow-up from a stress test," joked McKenrick.
The unthinkable happened again, around the same time as before and police believe with the same two suspects.
"On both incidents it's been two late teen, African American males," said District Two Cincinnati Police Detective Charles Zopfi, who said it is not just at the shop in Madisonville. After Halloween, crimes of opportunity are rampant city-wide.
"They came in," McKenrick said. "Two guns this time, two guns."
McKenrick, who is a mother of ten children, kept her cool as she lay face down.
Mary Sampson was behind the counter.
"They're like, this is a robbery, get down," she said pointing her hand like a gun and aiming it toward the floor. "I immediately went down, so did they."
The store lost $29 the second time around, but McKenrick has also made major security changes. Cameras not only monitor the aisles, but they also have a clear shot of the counter, register and front door.
"I lock the door back and we let them shop and they feel safe now," Sampson said. "I don't want them back."
District Two Police said there is always a big spike in crimes of opportunity like this during the period from Halloween through New Years.
So, it pays to keep a close eye on everyone and everything, to keep you safe over the next several weeks.