Gastonia business hopes to stay open after $30,000 in jewelry stolen

Gastonia business hopes to stay open after $30,000 in jewelry stolen

Gastonia, NC - Sonny Horne was back in his Gastonia workshop sizing up rings Thursday afternoon, but after what happened in the wee hours earlier in the morning, he's really sizing up his future.

"(I've been in business) since 1995 and we worked through ups and downs and this was another chance for me," said Horne.

Everything changed for Horne around 2:30 a.m. He says he got an alert on his phone that the motion detector at his shop on East Franklin Boulevard had picked something up. He called police right away.

"They got here and they said 'I needed to get here quick' that the building had already been compromised," said Horne.

Compromised meant the front door had been pried open, the display cases shattered and $30,000 in jewelry gone.

"I don't hate these people. I love them because I'm a Christian man," said Horne. "I wish they'd give me my jewelry back, (but) I know it's not going to happen."

The Gastonia Police Department is investigating. Detectives are trying to find who is responsible, but their job has been made difficult. Horne says he's had a running dispute with the company that installed his surveillance cameras. He can't access the images, there was no hard drive recording.

WBTV News attempted to reach the company Horne says installed the equipment. No one answered the phone and the voice mailbox was full.

Horne had also recently moved his business, Independent Casting Jewelry Design Studios, to the Franklin Boulevard address. He says he had to borrow money to do it.

"And now half our inventory is gone," said Horne. "I don't know what is going to happen."

All he can do right now is clean up, get back to work and hope there's a future after Christmas.

"You can't break my faith, but being able to stay open past January, it's another story," said Horne.

Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call The Gastonia Police Department's Crime Stoppers tip line at 704-861-8000. A reward of up to $1,000 is possible.

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