Reward offered after Kristi’s Unique Boutique vandalized

BURNEY, Calif. — When Kristi Laughlin, owner of Kristi’s Unique Boutique in Burney, woke to an early morning message from a friend telling her that it appeared her business had been broken into sometime in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 27, she feared the worst.

By the time she arrived at her store around 10:30 a.m., Shasta County Sheriff’s Burney Station deputies were already at the business with guns drawn, and were checking the interior of the business for any potential burglars, Laughlin told SCNS this morning.


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Deputies who responded to the scene found nobody inside the business and nothing that appeared to have been stolen. However, they did locate a heavy, steel ball-hitch inside the store, which they recovered as evidence to what they determined was likely a random vandalism of the business.

After speaking with friends who take early morning walks past her business, Laughlin came to the conclusion that the vandalism likely happened between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., leaving her store wide open and unprotected for several hours.

“Since this appeared to have happened overnight, I’m really surprised there wasn’t more damage and that nothing was stolen,” Laughlin explained. “Considering the store was left open for several hours, I am thankful the damage wasn’t worse.”

“This isn’t the way to live your life,” Laughlin later said of the person or people responsible for last Tuesday’s vandalism. “Think about others and how your actions effect them before acting in such a negative way.”

After assessing the damage to the front door’s window and two glass jewelry display cabinets that were likely destroyed by the ball-hitch that was hurled through her front door’s window, Laughlin contacted Scott Brulc of Scott’s Guaranteed Glass in Burney, who was quick to respond to the business.

“He replaced the door’s front window with a better quality glass and had completed the repairs that same day,” said Laughlin; who added, “Luckily I pay extra for window insurance just because of vandals and things like this.”

Between the front door’s window and the two glass display cases, Laughlin estimated the vandalism caused around $1,100 in damage to her store.

In spite of the damage and subsequent clean up efforts, Laughlin said the store remained opened and described, “Our great customers kept coming in and just had to walk over all the broken glass and knocked over displays.”

“But they were so supportive and understanding, with some even offering in person and online to help clean up,” described Laughlin.

Asked if she needed any help from the community, Laughlin said, “The only help is to come in and go shopping and think of us for Christmas when it comes to gifts!”

“It does make me feel violated and a bit more unsafe being here and working here; not knowing why it happened,” Laughlin described.

As for those responsible, Laughlin thought for a moment before saying, “Just get help. This isn’t the way to live your life.”

“Think about others and how your actions effect them before acting in such a negative way,” Laughlin continued; adding she is offering a reward in the form of a gift certificate to her business, for any information leading to an arrest of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism.

“A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll – a little bit sassy and a little bit sweet,” at Kristi’s Unique Boutique you will find unique fashions and accessories, flirty florals, elegant laces, edgy rock styles and country trends for women of all ages from size small to 3X. Kristi Laughlin photo

“It just makes me so angry that someone would do something so malicious,” Robin Montgomery of Johnson Park later said of the vandalism.

“My daughters and I just love shopping there and the staff is always so sweet, friendly and helpful,” Montgomery continued; adding, “I really hope they catch who did this and hold them accountable.”

Kristi’s Unique Boutique, located at 37065 Main St. in Burney, remains open for business Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit Kristi’s Unique Boutique online or on Facebook.

The sheriff’s investigation is continuing and anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to contact Deputy Tom Moon at the Burney Sheriff’s Station at (530) 245-6070. Callers can remain anonymous.

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Kristi Laughlin photos

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Recently recognized by Enjoy magazine for one of the North State’s top ten best burgers, Chatty Kathy’s serves mouth watering burgers, talk-of-the-town sandwiches, delicious milk shakes and a variety of ice creams. Located just east of Burney in Johnson Park, Chatty Kathy’s is run by local resident Kathy Ragsdale, who says, “We’ve been in the food business for 20 years and have met a lot of great people who have touched our hearts. We serve our meals with special pride; making sure all our customers are happy and full and get what they ordered.”

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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.