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By Janel Heflin, Special to the Beacon
While the Fourth of July is typically a day for celebration with family and friends, food and fireworks, unfortunate events including the robbery of The Market, and incidences of shoplifting at the Dilly Dally Gally, rained down disappointment on business owners of the small island community of Cedar Key.
A pop here. A huge boom, boom and crackle there. All leading up to the grand finale.
Fourth of July, Cedar Key style.
Spanning numerous bridges, four to be exact, is the small island town of Cedar Keys.
Resting quietly on the Gulf of Mexico, this little island has a big “punch,” when it comes to the Fourth of July.
Bridge after bridge was lined with families piled atop blankets, and perched in chairs. Smile after smile seen as the rocketed extravaganza of pyrotechnics rained a shower of brilliance down.
Oohs and awes were heard from every child, and every parent for that matter. Heck, even I found myself caught up in the moment, the brilliance, the celebration. Happy Birthday America!
But, while attention was directed toward the celebrations, others had deeply-rooted, ulterior motives in mind.
While everyone was enjoying the fireworks display, sinister individuals were up to no good.
The Market at Cedar Key, a small, family owned grocery store, was infiltrated by unknown thieves who, cracked open the business safe, and absconded with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Owners, Bryan and Darlene Skarupski, have offered up a “No questions asked…no law enforcement” $500 reward for information leading to the naming of those involved.
“I was not aware of The Market being robbed as it was not reported,” said Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin.
Additionally, Dilly Dally Gally, a quaint, little shop on Dock Street reported they were struck by multiple shoplifters during the Fourth of July’s events.
“My understanding is that there were three parties detained for questioning,” noted Chief Sandlin.
Chief Sandlin also said that the detainees were apprehended off the premises of the Dilly Dally Gally, and that the stolen property was returned.
“Then we escorted them off the island,” Chief Sandlin said. “They’ve been trespassed.”
So, should those involved in the shoplifting incident choose to return to Cedar Key, the consequences of their mere presence in the small island community will have dire consequences.
In a community where crime of any type is shocking news, these incidents have left residents, business owners, and the employees that run them on edge.
If you have any information related to the incident at The Market, call 352-543-5354.