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Fellow merchant comes to aid of burglarized shop

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POSTED December 20, 2017 1:01 a.m.

Heather Elkins had every reason in the world to lose faith in the holiday spirit over the weekend when she discovered that the window of her Manteca business was smashed and the drawer containing the next day’s till was stolen.
But a simple goodwill gesture from a fellow business owner made sure that Elkins – who has worked at the Bean and Leaf Café for nearly all 21 years that it’s been open, and owned it for the last nine – doesn’t have to lose faith in the community she has grown to love.
On Sunday morning, Charles Paz – the owner of Besitos Fine Cuisine – stopped by the Bean and Leaf to donate the restaurant’s morning tips to help offset the costs of replacing the window and the money that was taken.
Elkins said that while she the restaurant hadn’t been burglarized in its entire existence – escaping incident free for more than two decades save for a lone act of vandalism that shattered the same window targeted over the weekend – getting the call that the business she has poured her heart and soul into was taken advantage of by a thief was disheartening to say the least.
That simple act of kindness from somebody she didn’t personally know, she said, meant the world to her.
“It shows that small independent businesses stick together, and the gesture meant more than the money to me at that point,” Elkins said. “We have mutual friends, but I hadn’t met him yet when he came in and it was just a good sign that those of us who are small business owners are willing to help others in need when they need it – especially during this time of year.”
According to Elkins, the donation of roughly $30 will go towards replacing the window, and buying another till for her cash register that contained $250 for the next business day after she closed out the night before the incident happened.
So far security footage of the incident hasn’t revealed anything from neighboring businesses, and she has an appointment or a technician to come view her footage to see if her cameras captured a good image, and if so if the people responsible are suspects in any other crimes.
Even though she’s not expecting anything to come from the attempt, and has written off the loss, the fact that there are other businesses that are willing to offer their own money as well as a friendly hand takes some of the sting out of it
“I told him that he didn’t have to do that, but he said he wanted to help,” Elkins said. “It shows the bond between the business community and the people of Manteca, and how people are willing to help other people who need it.”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.

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