There's a full-on crime spree going on in Toronto and restaurants are on high alert
The number of robberies in one of Toronto's most popular restaurant districts just keeps growing, and it's got the neighbourhood on high alert, with restaurateurs thinking not so much if they'll be next, but when.
Toronto Police Service put out a news release on May 3 stating it had been reported that four businesses were broken into between May 1 at 10 p.m. and May 2 at 7:19 a.m. and that once inside, suspects targeted the cash register, then fled. Specific locations are not provided at this time.
This is in addition to several April break-ins in the same area, in what seems to be one continuous restaurant-specific crime spree.
"Investigators are reviewing video surveillance and forensic evidence collected from the scenes to identify the suspects and establish whether all the incidents are linked," reads the release.
French restaurant Le Baratin was broken into around 3:30 a.m. on May 1. The incident was caught on surveillance footage, and the robber only made away with around $45 kept on the premises to make change, but did break a door worth hundreds.
"It's very saddening to see that someone will break into small businesses that are already struggling with COVID restrictions. Cash isn't been used much lately so breaking a $500 door for a few dollars seem really dumb to me," Le Baratin's assistant general manager Laura Fraixanet tells blogTO.
Toronto Police Service media relations officer Const.Caroline de Kloet tells blogTO that crime prevention tips include ample lighting, signage displayed that the property is protected by alarms and CCTV, ensuring storefront windows are unobstructed and working together with neighbouring businesses to observe and report suspicious activity.
"With the current lockdown and closures of businesses as a result of the pandemic, there will be less pedestrian and vehicular activity, thus creating potential 'crimes of opportunities' for break-ins to occur at commercial/businesses complexes," de Kloet tells blogTO.
The space shared by Woofdawg and Hola Luna was broken into on the same day, May 1, at 3:06 a.m. An old custom door will cost $2,000 to replace with an updated one, and they'll have to replace $350 in vinyl decals. The thief made away with a digital SLR camera and a package of hot dogs.
"I'd love to see more measures in place to steer repeat offenders away from that life," Hola Luna owner Ben Mol tells blogTO.
The Toronto Police Service release asks anyone with information to contact them.
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