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2nd theft discouraging to Tarentum business owner

September 19, 2018

Cindy's Soft Serve, Custard & More in Tarentum on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018.

A new Tarentum business has been hit by thieves for a second time.

Someone took two stools last week from outside Cindy’s Soft Serve, Custard & More.

That came after six flags were taken from the First Avenue business in late May.

“I’m disgusted,” owner Cindy Hatajik said Monday. “You’re afraid to put anything nice out.”

Hatajik said the stools had been there since she and her family opened their ice cream and food stand earlier this year.

The flag thief was caught and the flags, including a treasured U.S. Marine Corps flag that Hatajik’s father had given to her, were returned.

But Hatajik said she didn’t report the most recent theft to borough police.

“Tarentum is a beautiful city. There’s so many wonderful people in Tarentum,” she said. “There’s some bad apples in every basket. I just happened to find a couple of them.”

Since word of the theft spread on social media, Hatajik said someone donated three stools to replace the ones that were taken.

“It was a blessing,” she said.

But she’s also taking precautions.

“Now, we take everything that isn’t nailed down in,” she said. “We put another camera up. You have to camera your whole place, cameras everywhere -- outside, inside.”

Hatajik said she doesn’t really care if the stools that were taken ever get found or returned.

But the thefts have made her think about giving up the business.

“You just got to roll with the punches. I think I’m all punched out,” she said. “With God, we’ll make it. He’s providing us enough money to pay the bills and to pay my staff. There’s nothing left over for us to take home, and that’s OK.

“I don’t want to fail at this, and with God, I won’t fail.”

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