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When April Nolte saw her burglarized Sonora consignment store on Sunday morning, she said it was as if “a tornado went off inside here.”

Between Friday night and that morning, someone forced open a back door of Labels/Twigs at 13681 Mono Way in Sonora, a consignment store shared by two businesses and two owners. 

Nolte, the owner of the adult consignment store Labels, said clothing was strewn all over the floor and the personal items behind the front counter were ransacked. On Monday morning Nolte and the owner of the child consignment store Twigs, Laura Hockett, 31, were left to clean up the mess.

“They just dumped things everywhere. They took handfuls of clothing at a time. Behind the counter was completely destroyed,” Nolte said. “I cried. I was angry. I was frustrated. I felt like I was kicked when I was already down.”

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Niccoli Sandelin said the burglary was reported on Sunday morning. Nolte said the owners of the building made the discovery, called the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, then called the owners. 

Nolte and Hockett raced over to Labels/Twigs. Deputies first swept the building to determine no one was inside, and when the owners arrived, they were able to give a full accounting to the deputies about what was stolen.

Nolte said the burglars made off with approximately $750 in cash as well as merchandise, including entire bags full of clothing and jewelry. 

“The cash drawers were tipped upside down and all of our money was gone,” Nolte said. They pretty much destroyed all of the store. The bags were dumped upside down and clothes were scattered everywhere.”

Items behind the counter taken included iPhones, iPads, a TV and a gaming console.

In total, the estimated value of the items taken was about $10,000, Sandelin said. 

The Tuolumne Sheriff’s Office does not have any investigative leads at this time, Sandelin said, because there was no alarm system in the building or surveillance. 

Nolte said Labels has been in business for six years and Twigs for five. They have shared the current location in Sonora for approximately three years.

Nolte said the situation was made doubly worse by the mandated closure since March 19. 

“In order to pay the bills in the building, just even one day can affect that. Being closed a week and a half messed us up,” she said.

They don’t plan to reopen until the social distancing guidelines are lifted, Nolte said. 

“We’re going to try to pick up the pieces and hopefully bounce back. We have a lot of community support but we know everyone is in the same situation as us because no one is actually working. We’re going to give it our all to fight back,” Nolte said. “We are thankful for all the shares and support people are showing for us and we hope everybody comes out on top of this situation.”


Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito 


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