Rochester business owner speaks out after smash-and-grab

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A smash-and-grab at The Lash Trap has left business owner Janique Stacy picking up the pieces again.

The Rochester Police said the retail space on Iceland Park, which has been closed for a few months, was broken into and merchandise was stolen. The exact time and date for when the location was broken into is unknown, but it appears to have occurred sometime in March. A broken window was found at the location. Police said there is no information at this time leading them to believe that a vehicle was used to break into the location.

“The first time it wasn’t a real big break in so they broke the window, but they didn’t break all the way in. This time they broke in and the police came and handled what they had to handle and did the police report and that’s as far as it is,” said Stacy.

Just one week after an attempted break in, vandals returned and this time made off with store merchandise.

“You are a Black business in a neighborhood. You are sitting in here with merchandise you know. Some people know that I have these things in here. That’s why they keep coming back,” said Stacy.

Stacy is speaking out and putting other local downtown business owners on notice.

“Just make sure you have insurance and have inventory on everything you have. Because it doesn’t matter if you give to the community or not. It will be the same community you give to that will break into your shop,” said Stacy.

Through it all, it hasn’t dampened Stacy’s spirits and her commitment to serving the community she loves.

“I always have cookouts. I give out Narcan. I give out clothes. I give away hair. I give away anything. Some people come in here with no money. Ask me for money. Ask me for clothes. Whatever they ask me for, I’m here for them. I don’t mind helping the less fortunate,” said Stacy.

“For me being the person that I am. I’ll give someone the shirt off my back. It’s nothing that nobody can’t get from me, so for that to happen to me, it’s like wow really. Protect yourself. Protect your stuff. Protect you.”

That’s a promise she intends to keep no matter what.