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September 19, 2013

Burglar strikes Jeffersonville business three times in three years

Man arrested for Tuesday break-in is the son of a former employee

JEFFERSONVILLE — A 73-year-old woman said the third burglary in three years at her and her husband’s downtown Jeffersonville shop won’t keep them from doing business as usual.

Loretta and Clifton Beckner — owners of Designer Fragrance & Gifts at 423 Spring St. for nearly 30 years — were awakened by a telephone call from the Jeffersonville Police Department about 4 a.m. Tuesday morning telling them their store had been broken into. Loretta Beckner said she knew before picking up the phone it was someone calling about the store. When the officer asked if she was the owner of Designer Fragrance & Gifts, she said knew the store had been burglarized.

What Loretta Beckner didn’t know at the time was Jeffersonville police would soon find, hiding in the business, Michael D. Standiford, 38, Blue Teal Lane in Jeffersonville, a man she has known for nearly 20 years and who has been charged with burglary, a class C felony. Standiford’s mother previously held a part-time job at the store, and he would come in from time to time and visit with her.

STRING OF BREAK-INS

Loretta Beckner said she hopes Standiford will serve time for the crime and that he is able to get help for whatever problems he has that led him to break into a business for a pocketful of change.

She said the series of burglaries in recent years is unsettling for her and her husband.

“You feel so violated,” she said. “It is a bad feeling. It really is.”

Loretta Beckner said police have told her that Standiford said her and her husband were nice people who treated his mother well, and that he did not commit the break-in as retaliation. She said nothing in the store other than the change was disturbed or stolen during the incident.

Loretta Beckner said Designer Fragrance was also burglarized in 2011 and 2012, and all the break-ins have occurred when the business was closed.

“I am more scared of being held up during the day, and I’ve never been, thank the good Lord,” Loretta Beckner said. “At night, whenever they break in, let them take it and get away, just don’t hold us up and hurt somebody.”

Beckner said she doesn’t know who broke into her and her husband’s business in 2011 or 2012, but said all the break-ins have had similar characteristics and she is comforted knowing Standiford is now behind bars.

“It did bother me, really bothered me, you know, after the first time and the second time. When were they going to hit again?”

The Beckners never considered closing there business because of the crimes, however, but they did quit leaving cash in the store overnight.

“It still doesn’t make me want to give up the ship,” Loretta Beckner said.

Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said he will seek maximum punishment for Standiford.

“It is my intent [that] he is off the street for 20 years,” he said Thursday.

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