RIO VISTA (CBS13) — Becky Morris is a business owner in the Rio Vista area and believes what happened to her friend Karen Rogers’ specialty boutique happened because of hate.
“Because Karen is black, that’s why,” says Morris. “I’m from Alabama and we’ve seen this and it’s sad. It’s not one time they’ve been hit, not twice, not three times, not four times, not five times. It’s on and on and on.”
“Twelve or more times we’ve had things happen,” says Karen Rogers.
Rogers says the last time vandals hit her business was Friday night. She says the alarm went off at her specialty bra boutique, Galleria Bra Room, at 10:45 p.m. after someone used what appeared to be a slingshot to shoot a rock into the glass front door of the business on N. Second Street. Surveillance video from a store camera showed the suspect use his body to push his way through the glass, take two items of lingerie, and leave. Rogers believe she was targeted not necessarily because of what she sells, but because of her race.
“The fact that I’m an African-American female shop owner. The only African-American female shop owner in town,” says Rogers. “And I think this individual has it in their head and they are not tolerant of that.”
Rogers’ biggest concern is the vandalism gets more violent each time.
“We had someone come and vomit in the alcove,” says Rogers. “Someone urinated in the alcove. There’s been food and food stuff smeared on my glass. There’s been pornographic images of male genitalia placed on my window.”
Last month, the front of the business was damaged by what appeared to be three bullet holes.
Rogers says she doesn’t want to have to shut down the shop for good, but she’s fearful for the safety of her customers who can’t get the kind of service she provides anywhere else in town. Galleria Bra Room carries extended sizes that many other stores do not. Rogers says she has filed a police report.