"Craig's Popcorn Corner" back to poppin' after burglary early Monday morning

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PORTAGE, Wis., (WMTV) -- A popular popcorn and ice cream shop in downtown Portage is back open after being burglarized early Monday morning.

Craig’s Popcorn Corner in Portage, Wis.

Craig’s Popcorn Corner has been a summertime favorite for almost 20 years. A thief decided to spoil the fun earlier this week. But that didn't last long because the Craig family is back in business.

Mitchel Craig gets to work early every morning around 4:30 so he can get poppin’.
“We make all of our popcorn every single day,” said Craig.

But before he showed up Monday morning, Portage police gave him a call around 4 a.m.

“Unfortunately desperate people do desperate things sometimes,” he said.

Police say 46-year-old Edgar Thorpe broke into the downtown business and ransacked the place.

“So altogether I’d say he took just under $1,000 dollars from us,” said Craig. “I was very disappointed because this community has been very supportive over the years and it was hard for me to imagine that someone would break into our business,”

“(I was) shocked. Really, I mean this is not a quiet corner in the city of Portage. This is a very busy intersection. It’s a pretty brazen move to break into this business,” said daughter Amyjane Craig.

Amyjane says the thief came in through the drive-through window.

“And you could tell that someone had definitely been through the window and that it had been broken,” she said.

Soon after the burglary, Amyjane took to Facebook to spread the word about what happened and it didn’t take long for the people of Portage to show their support.

“It’s extremely humbling. We knew we were well-loved and well-liked in the community, but we didn’t realize how much so,’ said Amyjane

The business was closed all day Monday but the Craigs made enough repairs to be open Tuesday afternoon.

“The people have been absolutely wonderful through this whole experience,” said Mitchel. “This is a wonderful community and I’m proud to be a business owner and member of this community,”

Thorpe was arrested just hours after the crime. Police say officers recognized him in the area before the crime. He was pulled over and found to be in possession of the stolen items.

He’s charged with burglary and criminal damage to property. Police say they were able to recover some of the stolen goods, including 2 cash registers. They believe he may be responsible for other crimes in the area.

Edger Thorpe