In the weeks following a break-in, the owners of an Excelsior small business still seek answers.
Jerry Ferrell Jr., who owns of Tiger Bowl with his wife Teresa, said the break-in obliterated the couple’s thought processes.
“You can’t focus because now this is right there staring you in the face constantly,” he said. “So you’re mentally drained. I mean, we get physically drained as it is just running the business, but the mental part of it, the mental anguish of having to have to deal with that and still be able to do your daily functions. That was probably the hardest part of all of it.”
Teresa said the incident caused many sleepless nights afterward.
The couple said they went through a thought process, where they wondered if the intruder targeted them personally. The break-in forced the Ferrells to go through the agony of wondering if their home would be targeted next.
“So, you’re fighting that battle,” Jerry said. “That’s all mental. We don’t believe in our hearts that’s something that would really happen, but it’s still a process. You have to be able to process ... your brain just processes all that information because you’ve been affected. I think that’s been the toughest part to get past.”
Teresa said the break-in causes her to notice her surrounding more than before. If someone remains in the parking lot after closing, she said she asks Jerry to drive past and see what they’re up to.
“I’m second-guessing people,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to.”
The break-in caused, not only the Ferrells to take a closer look at security, but other businesses along the Y Shopping Center have also made changes. Teresa said more than one of Tiger Bowl’s neighboring businesses have told her they have or plan to make their procedures more secure.
Jerry said the couple currently works through tightening their procedures, including accepting recommendations from their insurance agency. Since the break-in, Tiger Bowl also installed motion-activated security cameras.
The couple and their neighboring businesses have also spoken to their landlord about installing security cameras in the shopping center’s parking lot.
Afterward, Teresa said she noticed how the incident impacted their regular bowlers. Many wanted to provide donations to help the couple fix the damage.
“You could see in their faces that it affected them as well as it did us,” she said. “ A lot of them had a lot of kind words to say and some of the employees, it affected. This is their safe place and it got violated.”
“It’s not just our violation, it’s the ones around us, it’s their violation too because it took away from them,” Jerry added. “It took away their security blanket of sorts.”
He said the couple wanted to create that safe place for their employees. They wanted to create a place they could call their own. Having someone take that away is not a good feeling.
“I feel sorry for whoever that individual is that they think that they’re better than anyone else in the world to be able to do that,” Jerry said. “Things will come around and it’ll come back. One day, it’ll come back and they’ll have to pay for it somehow.”
The intruders threw a brick through the businesses’ glass doors, leaving the unique brick behind. The brick contains a scalloped edge and a green, stamped image of a bicycle on one side.
Officials originally estimated the break in to have occurred after all employees went home at approximately 10:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13 until approximately 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14. Teresa said a phone call to the Excelsior Springs Police Department indicated an updated time line of midnight- approximately 8 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14.
The break-in will not stop Tiger Bowl from serving the community, Jerry said. Jerry said they don’t always feel how integrated their business is with the community. The support they received from the community in the hours following the incident helped them to remember.
After the incident, the couple noticed how some customers have come in to check on them.
The couple said some customers came in after the break-in said they wanted to come to support the couple. The number of bowlers in their leagues have also increased.
Even the comments on Tiger Bowl’s Facebook post helped. Teresa said as she read through the comments, she noticed some very kind comments directed toward the couple.
“I guess people do care about us,” she said. “That’s the first thing I said.”
“That’s one of the things that help you get over that mental hurdle, the anguish ... ,” Jerry added. “That’s one of those things that help you get past that.”