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Update: Diner owner shares grief

Sunday, September 14, 2008

HARMONY -- The Clay County Sheriff's Department is seeking help from the public regarding a burglary at a local restaurant.

"It's just so frustrating," Chaney's Diner & Deli owner Teresa Chaney told The Brazil Times. "All that they're doing is making a mess."

For the third time in the past six weeks, someone broke into the business located at 1945 E. United States 40, Harmony.

Despite installing extra security devices and new lighting in the parking lot, Teresa said the first two times someone got inside the building was by using the area near the air conditioner in the back.

"We've got that concreted up and installed deadbolt locks all over the place," she said.

Once inside, the suspect(s) have damaged equipment, left refrigerators open so food could spoil and vandalized the dinning area.

"Whoever is doing this makes a complete mess once they get inside," Chaney said. "It is so frustrating when you are trying to run a business seven days a week and constantly having to deal with things like this."

This time, the suspects kicked in the back door.

"Problem is if they want inside, they're going to come in no matter what we do," she said. "We're running out of things to do to stop them."

What baffles Teresa the most is the fact that no money is left inside the restaurant after closing.

"They took both my cash registers this time," she said. "The only things inside them were the keys to the bathrooms. They have never gotten any money. The last time they took three pies and ate them in the parking lot."

No other burglaries have been reported in the Harmony area to the Clay County Sheriff's Department at this time. However, officials are hopeful someone saw something suspicious happening around the diner and will come forward with additional information.

"We are looking for any information about suspicious activity that someone might have noticed around the diner or in the Harmony area," CCSD Deputy/K-9 Handler Brison Swearingen said. "Detective Jeff Maynard, our crime scene technician, has also been on the scene and collected evidence and fingerprints. We have some leads, but any other information would be an additional benefit to the case."

Teresa hopes the public will be able to provide some answers about the three burglaries.

"Hopefully, someone saw something and they will come forward," Chaney said. "Or maybe they will find my cash register drawers, anything that will help the police."

To report information about this case, or any other, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.

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Maybe they were just hungry. The pies were good enough to be eaten on site.

-- Posted by bartpeterson24 on Sun, Sep 14, 2008, at 10:20 PM

Law enforcement's best friend can be the community that it serves. Based on many of the comments posted, there seems to be a lack of intrest in coming together as a community to help law enforcement curb the increasing number of crimes in this town.

In a community so small, someone knows something.

Stop blaming police, business owners, and victims for the crimes that others commit.

If you care so much to comment on these stories, maybe you should stop watching so much Gunsmoke and CSI and get involved in your rapidly deteriorating, meth infested town and do something about it. Maybe to can start by calling a community meeting at Chaney's. I hear the pies are excellent.

-- Posted by roller2008 on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 7:40 AM

Tommy is right, since a detective lives approx. 4 miles away from this business, he should automaticly know through super police powers who did it! Man Tommy why didn't anybody think of that before!? (rolls eyes)

-- Posted by Pro Se on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 8:18 AM

This really concerns me as a new resident of Harmony, I thought I moved my son to a nice quiet little community. But since I moved in a little over a year ago, I've had my padlocked shed broken into & his 4-wheeler stolen. I have had people cutting through my yard late at night. There have been several late night, early a.m.'s that ATV's & loud vehicles have been speeding up & down the street. I only wanted to give my son a safe, comfortable place to grow up. I guess anymore that nowhere is safe, even small towns. It really is too bad, because I grew up in a small town and loved knowing that the most of the neighbors looked out for each other. I would like to know how to get a neighboor watch team together. If anyone knows, reply & I will get involved. It is all of our responiblity to help out each other.

I'm sure to get a ton of backlash, but this is my opinion, which I am entitled to have.

-- Posted by Collin's Mom on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 8:37 AM

Collin's Mom, I will contact the paper to see if they can send you my email. I can help you with this. I belong to a strong nieghborhood watch program and I can tell you that there is power in numbers. People can change their community.

-- Posted by roller2008 on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 9:21 AM

Collins Mom I would say that the best thing to do is contact the Sheriffs Department and see if they will assist in starting the watch program. Then maybe at the next town board meeting go and bring the idea to the board and then start contacting neighbors.

As for Tommy3 your comment just goes to show how smart you are. What makes you that that the TV show CSI is real life. Maybe you should get better informed about your life. If you read the story evidence and fingerprints have been collected let them do there job.

O and Tommy 3 if you read the Clay County Sheriffs Department is the investigating department not the brazil city police. So why would the Brazil detective work the case. Because he lives in Harmony? That is stupid. Why not call the Harmony Town Marshall and see how many patrols he has done. Maybe it is time for the Town Board to get rid of the town marshall because he doesnt do anything. I used to live in Harmony and I never saw him out patrolling or taking any calls.

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 9:38 AM

This is very interesting to think that someone would keep coming back to the sceen of the crime. If you stop and think about it, why would someone continue to do this? #1. They had a bad experience at the establishment concerning the food or services they received or #2. It is a disgruntled employee wanting revenge for being fired or repremanded. #3 Possibly a once upon a time friend turned enemy. #4 An X-spouce or family member turned angry. #5. Maybe someone you owe money too and never paid. Whoever it is..this person feels you owe them something and they are going to take it on their own to receive compensation. That is why all busines owners should keep in mind any toes they may have stepped on during the daily routine of running a small business. And it is so important to keep records of employee or customers you may have had problems with for future reference. Simply because these kind of individuals will continue to cause trouble just for the sake of self gradification and the feeling of one-upping someone.

Keeping all this in mind... good luck,I hope these thoughts shed some light on who it could possibly be.

-- Posted by Keeping An Open Mind on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 10:32 AM

Great place to eat. I'll bet they catch them next time. I'm certain they have a good idea who it is.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 11:10 AM

So the 'super' detective that doesn't live that close to this restaurant should be able to automatically solve this case Tommy3? ~ you probably don't have a clue as to what happens in your own neighborhood most of the time ~ CCSD will be investigating & with all the feedback on this article maybe they will be able to patrol more in Harmony ~ but, let's face it ~ CCSD only has a few deputies for our entire community & they have been busy with numerous drug busts ~ & graydog ~ what happens when the property invader is toting a shotgun, too? I guess whoever fires first wins ~ that's insane ~

Collin' Mom ~ Best of Luck with the neighborhood patrol/watch group ~ I bet some of your neighbors are just as fed up as you are ~

ProSe ~ as usual I love your comments ~ but you know maybe all the police agencies should have access to the "super powers" ~ what a great world we would have then !!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by karebabe on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 12:10 PM


Burglars know that carrying a gun is suicide. They're looking to steal, not kill (or in this case vandalize). If they knew the owner was a firearms owner and might possibly be in there, they'd never break in. This isn't hard core home invasion, this sounds to me like teenaged vandals.

And, tell me this, if they did have a shotgun and were breaking in, would it be better for the business owner to *NOT* have a shotgun? Hello??? Your suggestion that it would be better to not have a shotgun if they were breaking in with a shotgun is wholeheartedly naive. Maybe you'd think thats insane (to protect your place with a shotgun) but if you're right, I'd rather be insane and alive that sane and dead. Duh!

Exercising your Second Amendment rights is never insane especially when one shotgun blast can make the world a better place.

-- Posted by TheRider on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 1:08 PM

"Do you think that maybe the Sheriff's Department would have taken the remains of the eaten pies from the parking lot that they devoured and sent them off as evidence for DNA from the saliva?"

First of all, who said there was anything left? Secondly, they would compare the DNA to whos? Do you think some agency has a sample of everyone in the world's DNA? Thirdly, why did I even respond to your stupid comments?

Why no alarm system???????????

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 3:50 PM

The Rider:

maybe i will just hang out with my night vision goggles and a shotgun on my front porch and shoot all the random kids who come in my yard... isn't that what everyone does?? I am not saying that a shotgun doesn't work but why would someone sit all night long with their shotgun waiting on people who may or may not be armed to break in... not me.... i guess you are the only person who would do that... i don't think that karebabe is against guns just stupidity with guns

-- Posted by blue357 on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 3:55 PM

The Rider ~

Let me start by clarifying the Second Ammendment for you ~ it is the right to 'bear arms' not the right to 'blast someone with your shotgun' ~ no where in the Constitution will you find an Ammendment that allows one to kill another person ~ and one shotgun blast will land YOU in jail ~ which like you say will make the world a better place ~ personally, I am not against guns ~ we own several ~ but like you say yourself this break-in sounds like teenage vandals ~ does that really call for a shotgun ~ DUH!!!

-- Posted by karebabe on Mon, Sep 15, 2008, at 8:18 PM

This all concerns me a great deal. I think we all have to work with-in the law and uphold laws that already exist. The community needs to come together and people who are breaking the laws, like riding their 4-wheelers all over town, need to be stopped. It's just not the act of riding a 4-wheeler - it is a person saying, "I don't have to obey any laws" when they ride them on public roads. This county and town has to really uphold that law. It is rarely enforced. We do need someone who can enforce the laws in Harmony doing that everyday.

I believe a community slowly slides into trouble. People see they can break one law and get comfortable breaking others, and sooner or later you have vandalism and drug problems. Kids running wild and adults never fearing getting caught.

I think the citizens of Harmony need to come together and fight for their town. We need a place to discuss problems and concerns and fix what is broken. The town meetings are a good place to start. But a forum like this would be excellent also. It's not too late for Harmony, we just need to take action.

-- Posted by localgal on Tue, Sep 16, 2008, at 8:23 AM

While I normally try to stay away from the heated topics, I had to chime in with my two cents. I agree with several of the posts here that the community needs to be more involved. Aside from the times where I was stationed elsewhere, I have been a resident of Brazil. I can say this about Clay County, there are good people here. What really stings is the fact that many of these good people are doing nothing to help with the problems going on. I try to do my part and give quite a bit of time to this community because I care about where I live and where my children are raised.

While I am a firearm owner and 18 year + member of the Armed Forces, having a person sitting in wait with a weapon to neutralize the criminal may not be the best course of action. This is a business so there is only property that can be replaced, if it were a home where families reside then I would wholeheartedly advocate protecting them with any and all means available (life is precious, property while valuable is still just an object). But after all is said and done the best weapons against this type of problem (non-violent crime) is vigilance and the willingess to act and be involved. I read a quote a while back that underscores what is taking place here.

"when good people stand by and do nothing evil prevails."

We can talk all we want about the problem. What are we doing to help solve it?

Law Enforcement can't be everywhere at once and criminals know this. The Police are at a disadvantage. Routine patrols of neighborhoods and business' are a deterrent but they rely heavily on residents and business owners to report strange or suspicious vehicles and people out of place for that area.

Case in point, my home was spared a break in because one of my neighbors saw somone suspicious and called the police. When the alleged burglar saw the police in my driveway they fled.

Not everyone has neighbors like this and I understand that, but if we sit by and do nothing because we believe it's someone else's problem then we have just contributed to that problem.

I was burglarized before when I lived away from here, so I do understand and sympathize with Mrs. Chaney and other victims of this crime.

If we truly want to curb the drugs, theft and other problems that are here then we need to do our part. Get involved, if we don't we will ultimately loose this battle and our community will pay the price.

Brazil can be a great place to live if we take care of it. No one group can do it alone, it's going to take all of us working together.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Tue, Sep 16, 2008, at 8:51 AM

Well said Localguy1972!!!!... and before anyone asks, because of the similar screen names... We don't know each other.

-- Posted by localgal on Tue, Sep 16, 2008, at 9:05 AM

And before someone corrects me about the location I am aware that the burglary took place in Harmony not Brazil. But as we are a small community I sometimes generalize when it comes to location.

Still, no matter where crimes occur in our community we still need to get involved.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Tue, Sep 16, 2008, at 9:15 AM

I agree people are worth protecting. However these items in the diner is how these people make a living. They have the right to protect that too. If these thieves are out after hours, they must not be in school or employed so they dont understand that. Good luck to the business owners!

-- Posted by Sportfan on Wed, Sep 17, 2008, at 12:12 PM

maby a big batch of cookies left out for them made with x-lax will let you know who they next time lol hopper1

-- Posted by hopper1 on Sun, Sep 21, 2008, at 10:27 PM

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