Lexington bookstore gets support from community after burglary

jmadden@herald-leader.comDecember 13, 2013 

Wyn Morris held a copy of the last book his father read before he was killed in the Crash of Comair Flight 5191, in his home in Lexington, Ky., Friday, August 17, 2007. His father Leslie W. Morris II and his wife, Kaye, were both killed in the crash. The book is Daniel Silva's "The Messenger" and was personally autographed to Morris by the author. The book was returned to Wyn Morris months after the crash and he had it framed.

CHARLES BERTRAM | STAFF — Herald-Leader

Wyn Morris was greeted Friday morning at his bookstore with sympathetic high-fives from Chris Ortiz and Salvador Sanchez, owners of A Cup of Common Wealth coffee shop, after the Morris Book Shop was burglarized Thursday night. It was the second time this week that a burglary had been attempted at the bookstore.

Morris said Ortiz and Sanchez each bought a book and went back to work at their own shop, which also was burglarized this week.

The bookstore, on East High Street, was burglarized around 9 p.m. Thursday, about two hours after it closed, said Morris, the store's owner.

Morris said he was surprised the thief or thieves broke in through the front door.

"They were probably here for about five minutes. In and out."

The only thing taken was a cash box full of quarters, Morris said.

Earlier in the week, a burglar had used a crowbar to try to break into the back door of the store but was unsuccessful, Morris said.

Thursday night's thief broke the middle window in the front door and turned the lock.

On Friday afternoon, a locksmith was at the store repairing the door.

At least four other businesses in or near downtown Lexington have been burglarized within the past week: The Collective, A Cup of Common Wealth, Hair Razors and Stuartos Olive Oil.

"Our commercial burglary detectives are working diligently on these cases," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. "We are also collaborating with patrol officers to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in these areas."

She said that nonviolent property crimes are not unusual this time of year. Morris agreed.

"I guess people know small businesses are doing more business," he said. "The odds are better that you'll have a few hundred dollars more than a roll of quarters."

Morris said that "everybody feels a little bit like a target."

Police haven't determined whether the burglaries are related.

Third District Councilwoman Diane Lawless said there would be a community meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at the book shop to discuss the burglaries.

"They're doing what they can," she said of police. Lawless encouraged everyone to report any and all illegal activity so data can be collected.

"It's a violation and it's costly," she said.

Morris said social media has helped the community come together.

Students and parents from Lexington Montessori School stopped by Friday to drop off a huge letter that read, "Lexington Montessori School supports local businesses."

Kentucky Mudworks dropped off mugs for Morris to sell and was told to keep the profits.

"This time of year, especially, just brings out the best in people," he said. "We've seen a lot of folks today. ..It's their way of saying, 'We're sorry, we like you and we want to keep you here.'"

Justin Madden: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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