Business owner's reaction to stolen quilts: 'I was sick'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Why would someone enter a business and steal quilts? That's a question that's bothering Nancy Rink.

The owner of Nancy Rink Designs said she arrived at work Monday morning and saw the front door was ajar.

"I was sick. When I walked back here and I saw everything was gone, there's no words for it," said Rink.

Thieves made off with 17 custom quilts valued at around $20,000.

Rink said thieves disabled the alarm system, and it appears someone had a key to enter the business over the weekend. Police found no signs of forced entry into the business on Westwind Drive.

What bothers Rink the most is the sentimental value of her stolen work. A quilt can be an elaborately themed, creative artistic expression in fabric.

Rink designs and makes her own quilts. One of the pieces she's most proud of is called "El Camino Real." In addition, Rink and her husband wrote a book about it.

"This was inspired by Mexican pottery, and it tells the story of California from the earliest settlers," said Rink. "I'm giving a presentation in Tehachapi next weekend, and now I have no quilt."

The former middle school teacher said she and her husband travel all over California attending quilt shows. She displays and sells her work at these shows.

"The loss is devastating. I know they're things, but they're things that help me do my job and make a living," said Rink.

She has been getting encouragement from the quilting community and has put the word out on Facebook to be on the lookout should anyone try to sell her quilts.

Two days after the burglary, Rink said she no longer feels mad.

"Today, it's really hitting me. What am I going to do? How do I go forth from here." said Rink.

She is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of her quilts, no question asked. Anyone with information about this case is urged to call police at (661) 327-7111.