Burglary reward? Sandwiches

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LOREN BENOIT/PressBest Sandwich Shack was part of a string of break-ins from Saturday to early Monday morning.

COEUR d'ALENE — Best Sandwich Shack owner Kip Schlinker has a mayo-and-justice-laced proposition.

Give the man information on the person or persons who burglarized his Best Avenue food truck late Saturday night, get 10 free sandwiches in return.

There's a bounty you can bite into.

"At least they were nice about it," joked Schlinker, who said he has been ripped off a handful of times since opening six years ago just east of Davis Donuts. "They didn't mess with the food and didn't break anything. It could have been much worse."

Best Sandwich Shack was part of a string of break-ins from Saturday to early Monday morning which included Nina Mary's food truck and Roosters Coffee, both located in the parking lot of Runge’s Furniture between Third and Fourth streets.

Around midnight, Schlinker said, someone broke into his business by breaking a padlock with a crowbar before going inside and sorting through everything.

They took a set of keys and $350 cash from an obscured money drawer, prompting the owner to spend around $200 on new locks. Initially, he wasn't going to report the theft to authorities but changed his mind.

"You just expect it at this point," he said. "Two weeks ago someone stole a dolly from me. I remember one time when someone took the tip jar in the middle of the day and ran off. ...It's not the ghetto, but it's not the best part of town."

Schlinker checked a neighboring business surveillance camera, but due to the blizzard-like conditions that night, the footage was too blurry.

In midtown, Nina Mary's was burglarized yet again on Sunday. This time, $200 cash and a 25-pound slab of beef was taken.

This was the sixth time Mary Hayes' business has been hit in six years, as Nina Mary's was also burglarized in October.

Hayes joked that The Press should park outside Nina Mary's to wait and watch for a burglary.

"You have to make fun of it. What else can I do? I've done the crying already," Hayes said. "I'm over it and now I just move on. Dust my boots off and move on."

Roosters Coffee, which neighbors Nina Mary's, was broken into early Monday morning but didn't sustain any loss.

Jenn Miller, a barista, said someone smashed a window and rifled through the cabinets but didn't find anything.

"I am thinking they got spooked and took off," Miller said.

Schlinker heard that anywhere from five to 15 places were burglarized in the general area of his business, but The Press couldn't confirm those totals.

Hayes confirmed the burglaries hurt.

“What's going on in this town?” she said. “It used to be a good place. It was a nice, quiet little town.”

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