NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Since 2017, Siren Skate Ship, A shop that gives skateboarders, bikers and rollerskaters a place to shop, buy and repair their goods, has been sitting on the corner of Tidewater Dr. and Norman Ave.
Michael Merritt, the owner, had no major issues for five years until Monday night. Merritt said two people threw rocks into his shop’s window.
“The police car outside. I opened the front door and it was very apparent that two bicycles were stolen,” he said.
The bikes that were stolen totaled up to around $1,200. Merritt says this incident will set the business back in more ways than one.
“It sucks. You try so much to provide for the community and be a good neighborhood shop,” Merritt said. “The cost of the window will set us back. The potential loss of the bikes will set us back. Two steps forward, one step backward. You know the daily grind of keeping a business afloat, a neighborhood business like this afloat.”
While Merritt was dealing with the setbacks, he decided to turn to social media and ask the local skater community for help.
Luckily, a vigilant customer spotted the bikes riding around the area. Merritt was able to locate the bikes and recover them.
“I am grateful for one of our customers that took the time out to look and find them for us. It was really nice to have that sense of community and people looking out for you,” he said. “As a business, we got our property back a little worse than wear.”
The bikes are now returned, but there is still damage to the window. Merritt said it could be anywhere around $1,000 to patch it up. Aside from the windows, Merritt is relieved the bikes are safe and sound.
“People who take other people’s stuff are wrong on so many levels. To be relieved that their efforts didn’t pay off,” he said.
He credits the community for their help.
“It’s beautiful. I love it. The biggest joy of having this shop is the sense of community,” Merritt said.