Hudson, Florida - Stephen Tippie never saw it coming.
"It made me sick, my blood pressure, my whole body. I just felt violated," said the long-time exotic pet store entrepreneur. "I just never thought it would happen to me."
Tippie says he put his entire heart and soul into his new high-end pet store, Fancy Tails Exotic Pet Boutique, in Hudson.
"I've always prided myself on carrying quality products for quality customers in the past," said Tippie. "We were just 24 hours away from opening."
That's when the break-in happened, and it only took 45 seconds.
A man smashed the glass on the front door to Tippie's pet boutique and crammed a crowbar of sorts into the cash register trying to get the contents out.
Here's karma for you - there was no money inside.
Tippie's store wasn't even open. It was 5 a.m., and he needed more time to get the brand-new store ready for clients and friends.
Tippie isn't alone.
He is one of 13 Pasco business owners brutalized by criminals since New Year's Day. It's always mom and pop shops, and it's always a smash-and-grab job, much to the dismay of employers, who work hard for every dime they earn.
Here's the silver lining - the crooks were caught on camera in several stores. And, that video was released to the media in hopes that someone would recognize who the person was.
In most cases, the glass to repair the windows is more than what the crooks got away with in the first place.
All kinds of businesses have been hit from a pizza parlor, to a hair salon, to a Verizon store- even a coin store. And, criminals are normally walking away empty handed.
Joseph Capobianco is a long-time well-known, well-established stylist in Pasco. His salon, Joseph Michael Hair Salon, is always packed with warm banter and happy customers, so when Capobianco's place was hit, he felt violated.
"I'm just grateful that they didn't do more to my salon. I never leave cash in my shop. Ever. I want whoever did this caught," said Capobianco.
Sheriff Chris Nocco believes that there's possibly two people working together on these smash-and-grabs in the overnight hours.
If you know who is doing this, please call the Pasco Sheriff's Office.