Businesses address break-ins 0
Business owners are still searching for answers into a recent string of break and enters throughout Haliburton during the past number of weeks.
While each case varies, one constant remains that no charges have been laid by the police.
Investigations into the incidents are still ongoing, according to Constable Sandy Adams, media relations officer for the Haliburton Highlands OPP detachment.
“In a number of the investigations forensic evidence may have been seized, things like fingerprints, blood, footwear impressions and tool marks. These things take time to have them forensically analyzed. Some testing can be done locally, but other testing needs to be sent out to the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto,” Adams told the paper.
Businesses that were broken into and, in some cases robbed from, include the Haliburton Highland Pharmacy, Earthways Café, The 4Cs Lily Ann, the Ethel Curry Gallery and the West Guilford Shopping Centre.
It has not been determined if the incidents are connected, according to Adams.
While it is unclear what might be the cause for the recent events in Haliburton, Adams said sometimes there isn’t just one reason.
“Sometimes it is opportunity. Sometimes it is substance abuse, a need for money or the drug. Sometimes it is the need to get things to be able to sell for money,” she wrote in an email.
Little has been stolen in each scenario, sometimes nothing at all.
New to the downtown strip, Haliburton Highland Pharmacy was the first business to be broken into and stolen from, as thieves took $300 and a bottle of methadone.
Since the incident there have been no additional attempts to break into the pharmacy, said owner Ketan Dekiwadiya.
“We have a security alarm and system so we are secure as far as I know,” he said.
Dekiwadiya said the OPP haven’t informed the pharmacy owners of any arrests since the theft.
The pharmacy isn’t the only business that has not received information from the police.
Michelle Connelly, owner of Earthways Café, has also been given little to no indication of what OPP are doing about the investigation into a robbery that occurred at the café.
Thieves made off with a cash register, which was empty at the time, and a cup filled with tip money.
The cash register has since been found and apprehended by the police, according to Connelly.
“It was found in a men’s washroom upstairs … about two or three days after the robbery. We called the OPP and they came and got it. I still haven’t heard anything as to when I’m getting it back,” she said.
Unfamiliar with the protocol that is typically followed in these circumstances, Connelly said she will be following up herself.
Since the break-in, the café hasn’t been victim to any more attempts but the owner does worry about it even though she has had a camera installed.
“It does bother me, I can’t lie about that,” she said.
Connelly is also careful to make sure no employee is left alone at the café.
“Even if they [the break-ins] may or may not be related I just don’t feel there is enough police presence. I mean, if there’s that kind of activity going on then where are they? Why are they not cruising around?” she asked.
While nothing was stolen at nearby Ethel Curry Gallery, the front door was smashed sometime between July 6 and 7, according to owner Wayne Hooks.
Hooks hasn’t heard a thing from the OPP since the incident but said the police were more than co-operative in helping with the call.
“They even picked up the glass, because they said they have special gloves the glass wouldn’t cut through,” he said.
The owner doesn’t believe the gallery will be targeted again.
While the West Guilford Shopping Centre hasn’t been made aware of any arrests, the owners have been visited by members of the OPP since they were broken into, according to Trevor Kelly, an employee at the store.
“Since that visit we don’t know anything,” said Kelly, adding the OPP have been co-operative in the matter.
All the businesses have been helpful to the police, according to Adams.
President of the Haliburton Business Improvement Area and owner of downtown business The Photoshop, Luke Schell does believe the recent events are something to be concerned about.
“It’s been my experience over the years that it’s pretty well always one or two individuals that are involved,” said Schell, whos business has been the victim of a break-in before.
“Years ago when we were having quite a bit of vandalism downtown it was two young individuals who were responsible for 99 per cent of it,” he said.
While many of the incidents resulted in very little being stolen, Schell questioned the robbery involving methadone.
“I have heard that if you do as a drugstore decide to sell methadone, that it attracts desperate people willing to do desperate things … that concerns me,” he said.
The Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart in Haliburton do not carry methadone, according to employees of the pharmacy.
The BIA has not discussed the break-ins at any of their meetings, said Schell.
While business owners wait for more information, the OPP are continuing to search for answers.
“The investigations are all still open and we continue to follow leads,” said Adams.