AUSTIN -- Voted the best tattoo artist in Austin for six years, Karen Slafter moved her business, Spellbound Studios, to South 1st for more exposure. Instead, she became a target for thieves.
"Somebody broke my window, pulled my table over, and pulled my computer out the window," said Slafter. "I'm not a rich person, I'm a small business owner, and they took a piece of equipment that's hard for me to replace."
She's not the only business owner suffering. Someone broke down the door at Mercedes Flowers on South 1st last week and stole the cash register.
"My heart dropped, it was an awful feeling. There was plywood in the middle of my shop," said Garza.
Garza warned business owners in her neighborhood about the crime and learned several places had been burglarized or vandalized recently including Torchy's Tacos, Fair Bean Coffee and Freddie's Place.
Austin police officers plan to increase patrols along South 1st to curb crime. Business owners are also watching out for one another.
Monday they will meet at El Mercado to discuss the break-ins and will hear from police on how to best secure their businesses.