On January 31st, Ballard retailers busted a thief that had been stealing wallets and purses out of the back rooms of our shops and breaking into some establishments for cash. It was fitting that we caught him on the final day of a crazy/crappy year for retail. We all stood on the corner, high-fived and smiled. I walked away wondering what the new year would bring and if this feeling of empowerment would last. Almost three months later, I'd say it has.