Business owners on high alert after break-in

Local News

OGDEN, Ill. (WCIA) — Two buildings in the business district were broken into Christmas night, the Ogden Masonic Lodge and an accounting firm next door.

The lodge shared photos on their Facebook page of how badly the building was ransacked. Doors were busted in, a safe was cracked open, and more. Through all that, the lodge says nothing was stolen.

Terry Wright has run a barber shop just a few doors down from the lodge for 20 years. He says he found himself worrying about things like this even before the break-in.

“It’s not every day,” says Wright. “Mostly just when you’re locking up and getting ready to leave. You look both ways, even in Ogden, before you step out. Especially on nights like [Friday] when it gets dark.”

Just one block over is Billy Bob’s. George Woodard is the owner of the bar. He says there is not too much to be worried about in the village.

“I’m concerned about it. Ogden’s pretty safe [though],” says Woodard. “We haven’t had much trouble. In this bar or in the town.”

Although both business owners feel that the village is safe, there is a reason for some concern. The lack of a police department in town. Wright thinks there would be less break-ins if there were more police officers.

“I believe a police presence says a lot,” says Wright. “They don’t have to go around giving tickets all the time.”

While Woodard has not had many issues in 21 years of business, he says there have been a hand full. Just nothing major.

“We’ve had probably two or three [break-ins] in this building,” says Woodard. “Nobody really got in. One time they stole some stuff. Other than that, just damage. Breaking the door and the alarm went off and the cameras kind of scare them.”

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. They are asking anyone with information on the break-in to contact them.

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