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Budget Music owner grateful for community support after robbery

Local business owner Dan Maier said he's received "the best Christmas present ever" in the last few days out of one of the worst things that's ever happened to his store.

Local business owner Dan Maier said he's received "the best Christmas present ever" in the last few days out of one of the worst things that's ever happened to his store.

Budget Music, located at 714 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks, was one of eight local businesses to be hit in a recent armed robbery streak. The Dec. 20 robbery happened while Maier's son, Brandon, was working.

Maier said he didn't really know what to expect when he first heard about it. "I was just glad for Brandon's safety," he said.

But "tons" of people have contacted him or visited the store since then, giving him an early Christmas present in what could have otherwise been a difficult holiday season.

"You don't really see how many people care about certain things until something like that happens," he said.

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Business as usual

Maier said Brandon is doing well but was a bit shook up after being robbed at gunpoint. "But he handled it good, and just gave him the money," he said.

Other than closing the store for a couple of hours to allow police to investigate the scene, Budget Music quickly returned to normal Sunday.

But then the phone started ringing. "For the first two days, I got so many phone calls," he said. "And some from people I don't even know."

Many customers called to see how everyone was doing and to make sure Brandon was alright, describing themselves so Maier would recognize who they were.

"I don't know if it's the Christmas season, or just that people care," he said.

Long-time friends have also contacted him since then. One man, a "Beatle buddy" that shares Maier's love of The Beatles, sent a card that simply said, 'Nobody should be robbed at Christmas.'

"He gave money and I hadn't talked to him for years," he said. "That was happily overwhelming."

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A couple who have shopped at the music store for years baked cookies, and their daughter Miranda brought in a plate full of treats to help take the sting out of the robbery.

"There's so many people that care out there," he said. "There really is. You don't see that kind of stuff very often."

The outpouring of kind words has made Maier grateful for the residents who have supported his business throughout the years and in this situation, he said. But he's not in any hurry to go through the experience again, even though the crime helped show him how much people valued Budget Music.

"Once in a lifetime's OK with me," he said. "I don't think I want to do that again."

Johnson reports on local business. Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
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