NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Little Bakery on Elmwood in Niagara Falls was robbed earlier this month, costing them more than $1000. But the suspect has yet to be convicted.
"He squeezed through the side window, through the bars. He came in, he stole anything he could get. The phone, he broke the tablet, he took the money out of the drawer," said Samantha Bassett, the owner.
She says he even damaged the food.
"He put bleach in the fresh baked bread. He put bleach in the fresh sauce we did," said Bassett.
The suspects name is John Zacher, according to Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek. He was arrested charged with burglary, grand larceny and criminal mischief, per the DA.
But he's not currently in jail because he was allowed to enter into opioid court. This means the suspect tested positive for opioids in his system and before he is convicted, he's allowed to get help.
"He will be held accountable for his actions, he will just be alive to do it," said District Attorney Wojtaszek.
She says this option is necessary in Niagara County.
"We have an opioid crisis in our community...[opioid court] is an extra resource to save lives and put people on a path to not commit crimes," said District Attorney Wojtaszek.
It's only available to people with non-violent crimes.
Bassett wants Zacher to get help, but says she is frustrated with the process.
"How many times is he going to do it before someone's dead, seriously injured or he ends up dead?" said Bassett.
On top of that, Bassett says she knows the suspect.
"He always comes in and we always give him free food. We've never had an issue with him before," said Bassett.
The Little Bakery also supports local UAW workers on strike, owners say it hurts to give so much and have something like this done to them. But they're already moving forward.
"You still have to run the business. I have kids, I have a home, I have bills to pay, so you keep going," said Bassett.