Thousands of dollars raised for Laveen business trashed by burglar

PHOENIX — A Laveen business was completely trashed by a man who broke into Sunshine Sunflower Studio on Friday. Now community members have gathered to help the art studio over repair the damages.

Owner Laurie Canfield and her husband say they received a phone call early Friday morning from neighbors saying they ran out of well water.

Canfield said that was because a man had broken into her business and turned on all the outdoor water sources.

“[Our neighbor] called us a few minutes later and she said somebody’s in your house,” said Canfield. “My husband got out of the truck and he like yelled into the house and the guy came out in my T-shirt.”

The property was in disarray with spray paint all over walls in every room and floor, bedroom closet doors ripped off, drywall busted in and the stovetop at full blast.

“He had plugged it in. He turned on all the burners,” said Canfield.

Canfield says since the break-in, she’s seen an overwhelming amount of support.

“We’ve had so many friends offered to come over and help us clean and help us paint and do everything,” said Canfield.

Community members and other local business owners pitching in thousands of dollars on a fundraiser page and even offering to paint a mural over the spray paint.

“We appreciate it so much more than I can even articulate,” said Canfield.

The owner of the local Amadio Ranch Heritage Farm also donated to the repairs and urged other local Laveen businesses to pitch in.

“One of the things we can do is that when these kinds of things happen to each other, we can at least be there to help them recover,” Amadio said. “I’m just so proud of my South Mountain community in how they come together and supported them in this time of need because we all go through it at times.”

Canfield estimates the damage to be eight to $10,000. She counts herself lucky.

“I feel blessed that nobody was hurt,” Canfield said.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect, Taylon Taylor-Whitfield crawled in through a window. He is currently in custody.

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