ASHEBORO, NC -- For the fourth time in two years, a popular Asheboro restaurant has been targeted by vandals.
Surveillance video captured the moment overnight on Wednesday when two people smashed out the windows at Bia's Gourmet Hardware on Worth Street.
The two suspects used hammers to break out the windows on the side of the restaurant as well as the service door and then took off running without taking anything.
Watching the surveillance video back, restaurant owner Eric Rich says he can't help but feel sick to his stomach.
"Not totally crush your spirit but it does put a dent in it," said Rich.
This isn't the first time he's felt that way.
The restaurant has been struck by vandals four times since the summer of 2016.
After the third incident, Rich put up a security gate to guard the entrance to the restaurant.
The vandalism subsided for over a year, but early Wednesday morning, it happened again.
Rich thinks it's the same people doing it each time -- trying to send him a message.
“A way of intimidating us or possibly coercion,” said Rich. “Or maybe it's just someone's a thug and wants what we've done or wants us gone.”
Asheboro Mayor David smith says the fact that these crimes keep happening to the same business is a concerning sign for other stakeholders in the city.
“We are an all American city. We have a lot of great things going on,” said Smith. “We don't want anything to interfere with the progress that we've made in the last few years.”
The broken windows inside the restaurant will be a lot of work to clean up but Rich says he won't let the vandals break his spirit.
“You have to keep going. You can't throw in the towel,” said Rich. “I think that's what whoever is doing this is trying to force my hand at that.”
Investigators have reviewed the surveillance video but right now, they no leads.
A detective has been assigned to the case.
If you have any information, contact Asheboro police.
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