CHAMPION TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been a heartbreaking year for the Bernhard family who owns Mahoning Launderama in Champion, but a break-in last week only made the pain worse.
“They took a little opportunity to do some damage and to ruin everything,” said owner Tracey Bernhard.
It’s been almost a week since it was discovered Mahoning Launderama had been broken into.
Bernhard said they knew something was wrong when they noticed blinking lights on the coin machines that she just filled the night before.
“My son, he opened up the office and he realized that. He called me, he just said, ‘We’ve been wiped out, we’ve been wiped out completely,”‘ Bernhard said.
According to a police report, the thieves went through the wall in the bathroom to break into the office and stole thousands of dollars from a safe as well as the coin machines, along with a set of keys and tools.
“I would call it like a heist. They just figured out what they were going to do and they went ahead and did it,” said Bernhard.
For Bernhard, it was a devastating blow for an already heartbroken family. It was her husband Tad’s idea to open the laundromat more than eight years ago.
He built the place and took care of it with his family before passing away unexpectedly of a heart attack in January.
“To me, he died again that day and I don’t think those punks, those deviants, whoever they are, they came in and they didn’t even realize they took a very, very sad family and they just crushed us,” said Bernhard.
The laundromat has been closed ever since as they work to revamp their security before opening once again.
“They took us down, but we’re coming back up,” she said.