Two recent break-ins have left Alanna Priel of Second Debut feeling helpless and violated.
Staff of Second Debut, located at 2741 99th St. on the north side of North Battleford, discovered the store had been broken into when they went into work July 29.
Priel’s laptop was found in a bag thrown outside the store.
“We recovered from that, [and] went on our way,” Priel said.
Another break-in happened about three weeks later. Display cases were smashed and things were in disarray. Some things were stolen.
Priel said one nearby business has had sporadic break-ins over the years, but said there haven’t been many incidents in the 32 years of Second Debut.
“What’s next, armed robbery?” Priel said.
Priel called police, but said they told her there wasn’t much they could do. She said police told her crime such as break-ins have been increasing.
Priel said she understands police can’t investigate every single little break in, “but it’s still a crime.”
“Besides laws getting tougher, it’s really up to the government at this point, whether they want to punish people like that or not,” Priel said.
Priel said she’ll install cameras on the outside of the building in hopes of recording vehicles if incidents occur again. She also said police recommend surveillance systems that inform business owners immediately of break-ins.
With alarm systems, Priel said, criminals know they have a certain amount of time before leaving a place they’re robbing.
City officials and police say well-illuminated areas can deter criminals. Priel said the back light was on at Second Debut during the recent theft.
Priel said she hopes the community bands together in light of local gang problems, and “have zero tolerance for that crap.”
She also hopes residents stop buying stolen things, and that those who have gang members in their families distance themselves from the gang members.
Local RCMP has hosted a few town halls over the years. Priel said she’d be interested in attending a town hall for business owners.
Understanding motivations is a question she wants answered.
“Why do [thieves] feel the need to steal from people? Whether it’s drugs, gangs, I don't know.”