GARLANDS CROSSING, N.S. — The manager of a popular Garlands Crossing convenience store is thankful no one was hurt following an early morning break and enter.
Shawn Parker, who has been the manager of D&W Swinimers Convenience Take Out and Deli for about six months, said an employee discovered someone had broken into the business when she arrived to work the morning of Jan. 29.
“The door was broken, there was glass everywhere. She immediately called Tracy (the owner) and 911 was called,” said Parker in a phone interview.
He said the staff feel ‘violated’ by the break, enter and theft but they’re thankful that no one was present when it occurred.
“If the person who came in at 4:45 a.m. had of been 10 to 15 minutes sooner, who is to say what could have happened. That’s what I keep thinking of,” said Parker.
“The situation could have been a lot worse.”
Parker said the thief, who was captured on video surveillance breaking the glass door and then rummaging through specific areas of the store, was largely after cash and cigarettes.
Staff Sgt. Cory Bushell, of the Windsor District RCMP, said he couldn’t provide many details since it is an active investigation.
However, he could confirm that the call for assistance came in at 4:42 a.m. and that “an undisclosed amount of cash” was taken, as was cigarettes.
Bushell said the best thing business owners can do to try to deter would-be-thieves is to incorporate safety features like lighting and alarms.
“We always recommend basic safety tips, such as have an alarm, surveillance cameras in the interior and exterior of the building as well as interior and exterior lighting,” said Bushell.
“Keep the bushes trimmed around the windows. Make sure that the approach of a would-be-thief is exposed to the general public or motorist going by.”
For D&W Swinimers Convenience Take Out and Deli, the video surveillance system captured footage of the thief in action.
After reviewing the video footage, Parker, and his sister, Tracy Young, the owner, opted to post several surveillance clips on social media. Parker said he hopes the video will not only result in an arrest but alert other businesses of the fact that someone is on the prowl in the area.
“It’s a small community. I just want to make sure that people are aware of what’s going on and hopefully, with us posting this, it may minimize any impact… to anyone else,” he said.
Parker said this is the first time the store has been the target of a break and enter in recent memory.
“Tracy has had the business for 18-plus years and this is the first time that this has happened. It’s hit her pretty hard,” said Parker.
However, Parker said the outpouring of community support they’ve received in the hours after letting the public know about the break and enter has been heartwarming.
“People are coming in and making sure everything is OK. People are messaging me,” said Parker.
As police chase down leads, Bushell said he hopes anyone with information about the incident will get in touch.
“We’ll be looking to the public to contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers — 1-800-222-TIPS — with any information that they may have on this particular investigation,” said Bushell.