A burglar at Ithaca to Go.

Jeff Stein contributed reporting.

Ithaca, N.Y. — A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in a string of burglaries on Ithaca’s west side dating back several weeks.

About eight businesses have contributed to the fund so far, according to WHCU. More than a dozen have been affected in the break-ins, though law enforcement has not said if the burglaries are being committed by the same person or group.

“The silver lining in it is that this has brought the small businesses together and on the same page,” said Amy Zarbock, co-owner of Ithaca to Go. “Unfortunately, it’s under these circumstances.”

A burglar at Ithaca to Go.

Zarbock said several anonymous volunteers have also stepped forward to help.

“It’s impacting so many neighbors and friends,” she said.

Zarbock suggested that a rattled sense of security was just as, or more, important than the financial impact.

Quilters Corners was another one of the recently burglarized shops. It’s the third time in four years it’s been broken into, said Linda Van Nederynen, a co-owner.

“It’s horrible,” she said, “they take money, they damage the property […] they’re obviously after money.”

Other businesses hit by the break-ins include The Piggery, The Bowl-O-Drome, Angelo’s Dry Cleaning and Purity Ice Cream.

The first two burglaries at Quilters Corner occurred in 2012; the third was last month.

Quilters Corner has beefed up security following every break-in, from simple lock changes and employee training to, most recently, the installation of a home security system, according to Van Nederynen.

Van Nederynen also believes that there is more that can be done by the community.

“In terms of the people, just being a little more vigil about who you see around on the streets, and, you know, if you’re suspicious or something looks out of the ordinary,” she said.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.