PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - Businesses throughout Washington have faced economic difficulties due to COVID-19, but one business in Port Orchard dealt with much more than loss of sales.
Tuesday, the open sign outside of The Trade Store and Affordable Car Rentals is a happy sight for owner Don Ryan.
“It’s a whole new world now that we’re able to re-open, and having the sign back on and having our employees back here,” said Ryan.
Like most businesses throughout the state, re-opening, especially under current phase 1 restrictions, comes with a lot of questions.
However, Ryan’s business is also facing a challenge most in Washington are not dealing with.
“The initial incident put us in a tailspin in our world,” he said.
About six weeks ago, a thief broke into Ryan’s business.
The stay-at-home order meant the usually busy lot sat empty, allowing the crook to get away with computers, keys, and even a car off the lot with ease.
Over the next few nights, police say the crook, with help, came back and stole several more cars.
“Our biggest concern right now is tomorrow: getting our staffs back, earning money, getting their families back to a more normalcy and stability in their lives, and hoping that we can, in the next month, get everything operational, and put all of this behind us,” said Ryan.
Ryan says a lot of his business is going online in an effort to work around the restrictions. They are using a “by-appointment” method for selling cars to keep the number of people on the lot at a minimum.
One of the suspects, caught on surveillance camera during the theft, has been caught.