Andy Boston's car lot on Trunk Road was broken into on August 4th or 5th, one of dozens of break and enters occurring over the past month.
The culprits apparently used an old technique to open the lock on a side door, and they were in and out within a minute. The haul? About $15,000, including a generator, an outboard, a computer, the security camera system, and a 2003 Suburban. Not to mention the keys to many of the other vehicles on the lot.
While everything was insured, Boston is still out thousands of dollars to pay his deductible -- a large amount for any business to absorb. All the cars on the lot had to be re-keyed, and the '03 Suburban, which he's since recovered, can no longer be sold as a used vehicle. Because it was stolen, Boston can only sell it at a wreck auction for far less than it would usually sell for.
The story about how Andy recovered the truck is a good one… watch the video to hear how it unfolded.
We also spoke with Mark Lutes of Algoma Business Computers, who also recently suffered a break and enter -- their 5th time in as many years. Lutes' business is now "set up like Fort Knox" with a heavy steel door, bars on the windows, and a 24/7 camera system. While the place is unfortunately looking a little more militarized than he'd like, "it's becoming a part of doing business," explained Lutes dejectedly.
The number of incidents have been higher than usual lately, with a total of 49 reported break and enters in the past month (July 9th to August 9th), according to the City Police. The breakdown is: 27 B&Es at residences, 7 B&Es at businesses, and 15 B&Es at garages, storage facilities, trailers, etc. These numbers don't include thefts from vehicles, which are categorized differently.
Indeed, the career criminals that commit many of these thefts and break & enters seem to have it down to a science. They strike at any time day or night, they're in and out in minutes, and they grab thousands of dollars worth of stuff, much of which then seems to disappear into some kind of invisible black market network that nobody ever hears about.
They continue doing it and are able to continue doing it because the repercussions are light. They spend a little time in jail and get back out. They are sentenced to probation, which they violate, and then are served with more probation. They're also doing it to fund their drug addictions, which may have become more of a challenge for them since Ontario banned oxycontin in March, leaving only more expensive alternatives like Heroin.
What are your thoughts about the current crime situation in Sault Ste. Marie? Have you been the victim of a break & enter, theft or other crime? Please share your comments below.
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Break and Enter: A Growing Problem in Sault Ste. Marie
Jake Cormier for local2 sault ste. marie
August 10th, 2012 at 9:35pm | Last Updated at 9:37pm