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Nutcracker Market vendor says $5,000 in goods stolen from booth

HOUSTON – Thieves stole $5,000 worth of merchandise from a boutique at the Nutcracker Market, according to the vendor.

“We have to get some of our money back. We have to," said Kailey McCollum, owner of the Kissue booth. "It’s a small business. It’s a big loss for us right now.”

Kissue had to close the store after Hurricane Harvey, and the owners were excited about their first year at the annual holiday market.

McCollum said they set out their merchandise on Monday, like all the other vendors, and that was when their troubles started. She said thieves stole clothes two nights in a row, even after they secured the booth with drapes.

"We left Monday night around 10:45 p.m. They closed at 11:30 p.m.," McCollum said. "We came back the next morning at 9 a.m. We started going through the clothes and noticed 26 items gone. They had taken them off the hangers and not even bother taking the hangers with them, or it was all in one place. They seriously picked and chose what they wanted to take."

Seasoned Nutcracker vendors were surprised the Kissue booth was hit twice by thieves.

"We've been doing the show for 10 years and I leave my booth completely open at night," Karen Kane, of Pampered Pet, said. "I never secure it and we've never had anything stolen. I feel ashamed. I don't know who would do something like that."

McCollum said she has been in touch with both police and organizers of the Nutcracker Market.

Market organizers sent the following statement to KPRC:

"We’re deeply saddened this happened to one of our cherished merchants. The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market security is in place both during the day and overnight. Incidents like this are rare, and it’s troubling that someone would steal from merchants who are doing so much to support the Houston community."

McCollum said that every night, she will have to haul all of the merchandise to her car and back for business the next day.

NRG sent a statement to KPRC2 that read, "NRG and Nutcracker Market does not comment on security measures."