Customers don’t just stop in for parts at Napa Auto Parts. They’re also known to stop in, sit down in front of the diner-style counter and grab a bag of popcorn to discuss the latest news.
But it was too cold in the store for idle time on Nov. 30. An overnight delivery truck driver discovered the store’s glass door shattered just after 4 a.m. that morning.
John Burnett, owner of the shop on east Main Street, theorizes that the driver may have stopped a robbery in progress, but nothing was taken.
“We think that’s what happened. We think he pulled up about the time he’d broken it,” he said.
Gardner Police Department officers are investigating the issue as criminal damage to property.
“I think they believe that some type of an object might have been used to break the window,” Police Chief Ken Francis said. “A search didn’t reveal anything being taken. I think they’re unsure what the motive might have been.”
It’s possible that the driver interrupted further criminal activity, Francis explained.
“That’s always possible, but usually you would think someone could get in there long enough to take something – they might’ve gotten some money bags or tools, but none They might’ve gotten some money bags or tools, but none of that stuff was discovered missing,” he said.
Burnett said Napa employees also theorized that maybe someone backed into the door. It’s inches from a parking space, and a concrete block serves as a break between the building and the drive.
“The glass was just broken. If they backed into it, I think it would’ve bent the frame,” Burnett said.
The early-morning excitement didn’t slow business at the store. Although the business’s front door was busted, the store opened as usual.
Other than the $450 door, Burnett said the only loss was heat inside the building Tuesday.
“We put cardboard on there trying to keep the warmth in,” he said.
The door was replaced on Wednesday.
“We’re back warm again,” Burnett said.