‘Grinch’ steals inspection stickers, cash, candy canes from four Henrico auto shops

Posted at 11:24 PM, Dec 14, 2015

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Thieves swiped state inspection stickers, cash and candy canes from Henrico businesses last weekend.

That’s right, one store owner said candy canes were swiped from the Christmas tree inside his auto shop.

Kevin Bartlett owns Varina Auto, and loves the area where he’s set up shop. "I was just bragging about how good the neighborhood was,” Bartlett said Monday.

The owner has a good idea who may be involved.

Varina Auto

In his more than 30 years on Darbytown Road, he's never been so sure about a suspect, even without ever seeing a frame of surveillance video.  "It was the Grinch," he said.  “Especially when I came back and realized all the candy canes were off the tree."

Bartlett's business was one of four automotive shops thieves targeted over the past four days.

"They took inspection stickers, motorcycle stickers, trailer stickers, rejection stickers and $520 in cash," Bartlett said.

Kevin Bartlett

Kevin Bartlett

Thieves used a rock and tire combination to break through the front window-pane, turning the place upside down to find money and valuables. Bartlett said it happened right around 2:17 a.m. Saturday. He knows that because the thieves unplugged his clock in order to cover their pilfering in darkness.

Crowder’s Auto Center on Laburnum Avenue was hit last Thursday and Lloyd’s Tire Service in Sandston had a break-in, but the alarm scared away the thieves.  That was just over an hour before the Varina Auto break-in.

"It takes away my faith in my fellow man,” Bartlett said. “For you to steal from someone just trying to make a living and then steal candy canes.  It's just messed up my Christmas spirit."

Two out of the four auto shops were mom-and-pop shops that felt no need to have security cameras or alarms. Now that's changed, both saying the Grinch won't get them twice.

The owners say if they try it again, they'll be caught on camera.

Anyone with any information about this robbery are asked to please contact Henrico Police at 804-501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.



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