Shop owners appreciate community support after robbery

Photo by Paige Elliott Sam Rosch, co-owner of Ace Hardware

Upon entering Ace Hardware on 38th and Nicollet Ave. in South Minneapolis, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that the store was recently ravaged by thieves.

But around 12:45 am on April 22, the shop was rocked by robbers. “Early Friday morning, [thieves] broke through the front door and stole $5,000 to $6,000 worth of mainly power tools,” the store’s co-owner Sam Rosch told the MSR.

Initially, two people broke in. But it soon became “a snatch and grab” as “six different people came in [and] took whatever they wanted,” read a post on the store’s Facebook page. “Some even helped themselves to a red Ace wheelbarrow to help get all the power tools in the vehicle,” read the post.

As other media outlets have reported, hours passed before Rosch and co-owner Elena Nelson were notified by their security company that the store had been broken into. “We had an alarm issue; you can say a malfunction,” Rosch said. “I’m not really sure. The alarm company also doesn’t know. Since then, we have a new alarm company—as you can understand.” 

The broken front door after the burglary at Ace Hardware

A week after the break-in, the store showed no signs of damage. The shop was abuzz with activity on Saturday afternoon, April 30, with a robust check-out line that wrapped around the store and the shop’s trusty cats, who are sisters, asleep in their box on the back counter.

 “We wanted it to not look like anything happened as fast as possible and not alarm anybody,” Rosch said. Last Wednesday he had new glass installed in the front to replace the boarded-up windows.

Since word of the break-in traveled, the diverse community of customers have rallied their support for the business. Rosch described the outpouring as “overwhelming.” 

He said, “There’s been really awesome support from the community. Customers really have been reaching out—phone calls, stopping in saying how sorry they are and how much they appreciate us, which really makes us feel good because we love this community. 

“We’re not going anywhere.”