Local business owners react to burglary suspect’s arrest

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Terre Haute business owners say they have a feeling of relief after police arrest a suspect who they believe burglarized 30 businesses.

During this summer, security cameras at Fifi’s Lunchbox in Terre Haute revealed images of a man who had burglarized their restaurant overnight.

One of the owner’s of the restaurant say after learning of the crime their staff felt violated.

“We felt totally violated that this person was just able to come in and help themselves and think hey that’s okay to do that,” said Claudine Hann, co-owner of Fifi’s Lunchbox.

After a month’s long investigation by Terre Haute detectives, Deshawn Johnson was arrested after authorities believe he was not only responsible for this crime, but around 30 other burglaries in the city.

“This guy has just affected so many of our businesses and eluded us for so long that he’s been kind of a top priority for a while,” said Det. Julia Piety, Terre Haute Police Department.

Burglaries can be tough for any business but Hann says for small businesses like Fifi’s they are especially difficult to deal with.

“It completely impacted us. All the way from expenses, to being able to pay the cost of goods, our employees, things like that. So we had to scramble and really make things happen,” Hann said.

Hann and other business owners impacted by the string of burglaries say they are happy that the suspect was caught.

“It’s a huge relief, not only for our staff but I’m sure for our customers as well, knowing that this person is not on the streets or that it’s going to escalate,” Hann said.

“I think a lot of people feel safe. The police do a great job to get him and put him behind bars in jail and I think he’s going to be there for awhile,” said Eleseo Hernandez, Chava’s manager.

Hann says that since the burglary Fifi’s has changed some of their security measures to help prevent these sorts of incidents in the future.

Johnson is being held on $35,000 bond at the Vigo County Jail

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