A Chico business owner is a bit happier Thursday after somebody returned a watch that was stolen the day before.
East Out West Gallery owner Charles Knipp says a man walked into the store and returned a $300 watch, saying someone he knows took it and he just wanted to return it.
But this is still a huge problem in Butte County and especially for Knipp, who has had something stolen from his store about once a month.
This last one was Wednesday. He said one of the women began talking with an employee saying she was an artist and was interested in showing her art at the store.
While that was happening, the other woman took a handmade, $300 sundial compass watch and walked out.
He said it's discouraging. He's only been there about 4 months and this is the 3rd time someone has stolen things.
“It's already hard enough to make enough money, to pay people to work here, or pay for the rent and pay for all the overhead and make a profit,” Knipp said.
He says he opened the store to display nice things, but because of all this, he now has keep everything behind a glass case and take most of the expensive items home to try his luck online.
Knipp has a 3-year lease on the place and he'll stay if business really picks up, but, at this rate, he said it's just not worth being there and keep having to deal with thieves.