Council member’s business burglarized
by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · January 10, 2014

One of West Branch’s newest City Council members’ businesses was burglarized right before Christmas, yet the council member said he feels sorry for the burglar more than he feels upset over the loss.

Tim Shields, who owns Shields Sewing Center in Sycamore Mall in Iowa City, said he is thankful none of his staff were harmed.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Vicki Lalla said cash was reported stolen from the store 9:57 a.m. Dec. 23, though there were no signs of forced entry and it was undetermined how someone entered the store. The store has access from inside the mall via a gate that slides over the entrance, and from the outside by a door.

Lalla said none of the other stores reported burglaries.

Shields said he thinks someone got into the store the night of Dec. 22.

“It was the weekend so we had more cash in the drawer,” he said. “When I came in the next morning, I found the bank bag but the cash was gone. The checks were there, but the cash was gone.”

Shields said he contacted the police, who came and took the information. He said he closed his business for about a half hour while waiting for police to arrive and investigate.

“But there’s not a whole lot they could do,” he said.

There was no security camera footage. Shields said he discovered that the interior gate was not latching correctly, so he had that repaired.

“It’s too bad,” he said, “that someone felt they had to steal to get what they needed.”

Shields said the company, which also has a location in Rock Island, is insured against theft.

“Life goes on,” he said. “It was pretty minor. They did not trash the place. Obviously they were not a customer, otherwise they would have taken one of the sewing machines.”

Lalla said there have been no arrests in the case, which remains under investigation.

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