KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Vintage Etc. owner Jeana Vaughn claims thieves have been stealing items from outside her store on Tazewell Pike.
“When we had the mirror stolen, it was literally in a chair sitting right here,” Vaughn pointed outside.
She said that it’s happening more frequently. Most recently, she said a birdbath was taken. This prompted Vaughn to put up a sign reading ‘Please Stop Stealing From Me.’
“I can’t replace it, it was a $75 birdbath. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot to people, but with the commission the store keeps, I would have to sell almost $1,000 worth of items to make that $75 back for the store,” Vaughn said.
What makes the situation even tougher, Vaughn says she has to put things outside to help draw more people inside.
“If I don’t have visible displays out front, then it’s hard for people to see my business and know what it’s about and tell them about it, and I can’t keep doing that and losing the items,” Vaughn said. “So it’s kind of a what do you do here?”
For now, she’s thinking of stopping outdoor displays and hoping people grasp the magnitude of taking what’s not theirs.
“It’s just a loss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar loss or if it’s a thousand dollar loss, it’s just a loss. And somebody took it just because they could and it’s disheartening. So I think my message would be you’re taking a whole lot more than stuff,” Vaughn said.