3R Mercantile victimized by smash-and-dash robbery


The front entrance to Three Rivers Mercantile was the point of entry in a pre-dawn burglary on Sunday, March 22. The burglar made off with six chainsaws and three weed trimmers.

As if small businesses aren’t taking a big enough hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still opportunistic thieves looking to sell stolen property. At 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, thieves used a crow bar to smash a lower glass panel of the front door to gain entry into Three Rivers Mercantile. After crawling through a lower mid-panel of broken glass, the burglars made off with six chainsaws and four weed trimmers.

According to David Vawter, Mercantile owner, the perpetrators were in and out in a hurry and knew exactly what to look for and where. The store’s security camera recorded the vehicle used in the get-away: a white Chevy Tahoe with 20 to 22-inch rims. The estimated loss in the theft was several thousand dollars including the cost of repairing the automatic front door.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with information in the case should call Kyle Stark, Three Rivers resident deputy, at (559) 740-8894. To make an anonymous report to the TCSO, send an email or text to tcso@tipnow.com or leave a voicemail at 559-725-4194.

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