EAST PEORIA, Ill - Firehouse Pizza in East Peoria is one of several Heart of Illinois establishments, getting by during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
They say despite the current conditions, they remain busy, fulfilling customers orders.
Recently a few orders have come in that the owner says seemed odd.
"When these type of orders come in, these ones that did were a red flag just because of the the items that were being ordered. Luckily, the two of the three I was able to catch."
Owner Sabina West says Firehouse received multiple orders of $150.00 and higher, but no one was showing up to pay or pickup.
"The two large orders, those were actually disconnected phone numbers, the e-mails went nowhere."
"Doing this sort of things feels sort of cruel to us, again we're fighting for every every order that we can get and when we have to do extra and and have waste, then you know, that's going to hurt our bottom line."
West took to social media to warn fellow small business owners.
"My goal with doing this post was basically to get the word out there to people to alert these small businesses that you know, hey, this is what's going on. In order for them to kind of keep their eyes and stuff out with things."
Little did she know the feedback she would receive.
"I've gotten a really great response out of it. In less than three days, it had reached over 25,000 people within the area, and I'm sure with all the shares and so forth, I'm sure was something that basically went went viral."
Adding she's not sure why someone would go through all this trouble to target small businesses.
"Your Walmart's and all that. It's always gonna be there. When your small businesses close. It's you know, they're the backbone us. That's your mom and pop shops, your small retails."