Tuesday August 20, 2013

GUILFORD -- Marc Tessitore has a silver lining that is keeping him in good spirits.

The Guilford Country Store, which Tessitore co-owns with his wife Suzanne, was burglarized Sunday night -- but the owners take solace in the fact that nothing was taken and no damage was caused.

"I got a report of an alarm (tripped) last night. I had someone do a circle around the building, there was nothing amiss, but when I came in this morning and I noticed that the cash register had been (tampered with)," he said in his store Monday afternoon. "We have a fairly robust security system here. The doors are alarmed and there are motion detectors in the store and one of them was tripped, obviously, as the people were in here. And a call was made to my home and my cell phone."

He said the loud siren must of scared away the burglars, who he believes were in the store for only a brief period. He said the Vermont State Police responded promptly. There was no update by VSP Trooper James Matthews, who is handling the case, by Monday night.

Anyone who has noticed something suspicious in the area or who may have information regarding the case is encouraged to contact Matthews at 802-254-2382.

The burglary is especially violating because the business reopened on Friday, June 28, after being closed since 2010. Tessitore and his wife moved to the area three years ago and "had been looking for something we really wanted to sink our teeth into.


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" They signed the lease to the building, owned by the non-profit Friends of Algiers Village Inc., in February.

[SLIDESHOW: Take a closer look inside the Guilford Country Store.]

The incident is the latest in a wave of burglaries that seems to be plaguing Windham County.

"It's distressing but it could have been a lot worse. ... The only thing we can hope for is that they catch these perpetrators quickly," he told the Reformer. "Small businesses have a difficult enough time doing business without people interfering with that."

Tessitore, who brought retail and catering experience into the business, said the community has responded tremendously to the store's reopening and the support has been overwhelming. He said he and his wife are happy to be there for the town and its residents seem to pleased to have the store operating once again.

The store is about 2,000-square-feet in area, Tessitore said, and the building that houses it is still under construction. Its regular hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week. The items are typical general-store merchandise as well as specialty cheeses, wine and beer, and there is a kitchen that crafts some homemade entrees.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.