Devon Ross has to climb in and out of the side of his trailer to get the tools he needs because he’s sealed the back door to keep thieves out.
On Saturday morning, the Gutter Man owner discovered someone had broken into his trailer on Millennium Boulevard in Moncton, N.B., and stolen six drills, a heat gun, and some other tools.
His alarm system was badly damaged, too.
Ross estimates the theft and damages will cost him between $2,000 to $3,000.
“I’m very pissed off at this. This has been an ongoing problem for a couple of years now. This is the first time that they’ve gotten into my trailer, but I know other businesses in this area as well have been dealing with this and it’s just a constant problem,” said Ross.
Ermen Plumbing, located a few doors down from where Ross parks his vehicle, was broken into on Oct. 11.
Would-be thieves loaded a van with copper pipe and tools and then set off an alarm before running away.
The break-ins and thefts have cost them in the neighbourhood of $20,000 over the last three years.
Co-owner Derek Ermen said he’s frustrated.
“I’ve got two acres up there. I can’t park one vehicle outside. I have to anticipate it being broken into as a regular occurrence,” said Ermen.
Sgt. Bruno Labbé of the Codiac Regional RCMP said they are investigating both break-ins.
“It seems to be two separate random incidents,” said Labbé. “We’re doing patrols in that area. Millennium is one of our routes we’re using when we go across the city. There’s usually several police cars going there.”
Ross isn’t sure what more he or the police can do.
“I’ve taken every step that I can. Paid for my own money just to secure my livelihood. They always find a way to get around it. If they want it, they’re going to get it,” said Ross.
Up the road, Daca Graphics owner Dave Cabel has been dealing with break-ins for years, and was hit again in September.
He’s thinking about moving to a different part of town.
“Do I have to buy steel grates for the windows? What do I have to do? I’m at wit’s end,” said Cabel.
Cabel’s side door was damaged and some items were stolen including a cash till.
He even had his debit card machine stolen.
“For them to take my debit machine, it’s needless. I called my supplier right away. He said, ‘No, they can’t do anything with it,’ but still, it gets me out $600 or $700,” said Cabel.
Last April, a fed-up business owner put up a wall of shame sign of criminals caught on surveillance video to raise awareness about crime he and other owners are experiencing in the mini-industrial park.
As for Ross, he’s out a full weekend of work.
“I wasn’t able to because I didn’t have my tools. Customers were relying on me. I had to call them and let them know what was going on and that sets me back even further,” said Ross. “So, yeah it’s been very frustrating and hard to deal with.”