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Robbers hit two family businesses in Pacific Beach

On Tuesday, robbers targeted two family-owned businesses in Pacific Beach. Police said the smash and grab burglaries happened at a chocolate store and clothing store.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Robbers targeted two family-owned businesses in Pacific Beach. Police reported the smash-and-grab burglaries happened early Tuesday morning at a chocolate shop and clothing store.

San Diego police received a call regarding a break-in around 4:30 a.m. on Turquoise Street near Cass Street. The Chocolate Haus owner Pete Close said the burglary happened in just a few minutes, because his neighbor above the store heard glass shattering and then ran downstairs. After arriving downstairs no one was found.

"I just feel totally violated. This is like my second home, and you know, like I practically live here, and Ryder too here. Yea, it's a setback for sure because I'm a small business," said Lori Helie, of Luella Boutique. 

"I work three jobs in order to keep this place open and keep it going, and for them to do it just kind of hurts, I put a lot of time and effort in this community,” Close said.

Police found huge landscaping rocks in both The Chocolate Haus and next-door Luella Boutique. The chocolate shop had a gaping hole inside the wall and cracks in the tile.

All the money was stolen out of the register at The Chocolate Haus, but no money was taken out of the tip jar full of cash, which was placed right next to the register.

Meanwhile the entire register was stolen out of the boutique with all the money, but no other clothing or merchandise was taken.

The two shop owners spent all morning clearing glass and calling insurance companies, as the doors were being boarded up. An alarm in the boutique functioned properly and sounded during the break-in and now both shops plan to increase security by installing surveillance cameras.

It's the first break-in for the boutique, but Close says The Chocolate Haus was burglarized two years ago during the same time of year. In that incident cash was stolen from the register.

The owners said there have been other reported burglaries near La Jolla, and they believe it could be the same thieves. 

Both businesses plan to remain open. 

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