Rash of Break-Ins In Downtown Cobourg

In Crime, Editor Choice, Local

A rash of break-ins has downtown business owners in Cobourg concerned.
In the last month there has been up to 10 businesses broken into along King Street, Division Street and George Street area.
Some of the businesses have been broken into numerous times, but the end result is thieves getting away with at the most $60, but usually much less.
Damage amounts from the break-ins are in the hundreds with owners having to replace doors and windows.
A downtown shoe store has been broken into twice, with the first time being on August 23.
“I came in and up to the office and said to myself I didn’t think I left this mess,” said the woman who asked not to be identified.
She quickly realized there had been a break-in and called Adam Bureau who owns a store downtown and is Chair of the Cobourg Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA).
Police were also called to the scene and dusted for fingerprints and took photos of the area.
Entry was gained by taking a hammer and chiselling the glass out at the rear entrance of the store.
“They didn’t break the glass, but the door couldn’t be fixed.”
The sum total of what the low-life/s got was $53.00. The brazen thieves even had the audacity to browse through the store and try on shoes, making off with three pairs of size 10 shoes.
“Our aisles are clean and there was a size 9 ½ and a 10 with an empty box.”
“But they only took the best,” said the woman.
The casual shoes are valued at $220 a pair.
Sometime overnight on September 24 was the second time the store was broken into.
“The back door was open so I came around and got Greg (Brocanier).”
“They had taken a crow-bar and pried (the door) and kicked it in.”
Once inside, the sum total of the getaway was $6.45. The cost of installing and replacing a door approximately $500.
Police again showed up and took fingerprints and photos.
But the insecurity of having the store entered twice has left a permanent scar on the woman emotionally who has worked there for 46-years.
“I feel unnerved. I’ve never been scared to come to work in my life and now I am. I just feel sick coming to work.”
Katherine O’Mally Greer’s “With All My Art!” has been broken into three times since the beginning of September.
Each time her steel back door has been pried open. At least one time she believes a crow-bar and sledge hammer were used.
“(The suspect) pried open half-inch steel and screws that were in the wall that were six inches long that were pried right out.”
The suspect/s smashed open the cash register cutting himself in the process at least once, “leaving blood all over the scene.”
The police were called all three times, taking photos, dusting for fingerprints and taking swabs of the blood.
The second time the suspect used more force to get in and just took change from the broken cash register.
O’Mally Greer tried to reinforce the steel door as much as possible, but is when she believes the suspect used a sledge hammer and crow bar.
“I have a steel door and it was flat as a pancake when I came in.”
“He must have been back here for a long time.”
Each time the store was entered only the change in the cash register was taken. The sum total – approximately $140.
To replace the cash register costs approximately $500 and her friends are helping to reinforce the door.
But O’Mally Greer tells Today’s Northumberland that prior to her business being broken into she discovered numerous pieces of clothing, including a sleeping bag she believes from a homeless person behind her store.
“It was strewn everywhere. I found a pair of brand new shoes behind window frames. All of his stuff was strewn all over (behind her store), but he made sure to hide the shoes.”
O’Mally Greer has been downtown for at least three decades with her own business and working previously with another downtown store.
“I’ve never seen it like this. I really think it’s easy to blame anybody, but I really think the police are just as frustrated as the merchants are.”
“I think they are understaffed and shorthanded. I don’t think they have the resources that they need.”
“The police have been wonderful, but there is not a lot they can do if they are understaffed.”
O’Mally Greer still looks for the sense of humour in the break-ins stating, “I’m a bit insulted they didn’t take any of my artwork.”
DBIA Chair Adam Bureau said downtown merchants are very concerned.
“There has been a rash of break and enters.”
The DBIA is working with a local security company to possibly offer discounts to those effected by the break-ins along with having seminars for people who are working alone.
“Working as a team is one of the best solutions we can come up with. Everybody looks out for everyone, it’s just at night when we’re not here is the hard part.”
“I think a lot of the store owners know not to keep anything in their cash register and leave it open. Because when they do come in, that’s what they are actually going for – the loose change.”
None of the business owners Today’s Northumberland spoke with can recall a press release issued by Cobourg Police regarding the break-ins.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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