A sense­less act

Van­dals bust up in­te­ri­ors of Bridgetown’s End­less Shores Books and Tem­ple on Queen

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - THE SPEC­TA­TOR BRIDGETOWN

When Jen­nifer Crouse went to un­lock the door at her book­store Satur­day morn­ing, it just pushed open. She saw white pow­der on the floor and thought some­thing had fallen from the ceil­ing. What she found in­side took a few min­utes to process. The place was wrecked.

Some­time late Sept. 28 or early Sept. 29, van­dals had sprayed a fire ex­tin­guisher on the books, ripped out phone lines, ran­sacked her work sta­tion, stole a com­puter mon­i­tor and key­board, and knocked over shelves con­tain­ing thou­sands of books.

That evening Cindy Mac­Don­ald checked on Tem­ple on Queen just down the street from End­less Shores Books only to dis­cover in­side the mu­sic and cater­ing venue was bro­ken glass and van­dal­ized walls and floors. Trays of glasses were smashed. Food prepped for a Sun­day night con­cert had been dumped into a blue bag but later aban­doned be­hind the build­ing. Other food like dip and condi­ments had been thrown at walls and floors.

En­try had been gained by smash­ing a small ground floor win­dow.

Mac­Don­ald and busi­ness part­ner Jen­nifer D’Au­bin found bags from Crouse’s book­store in­side Tem­ple on Queen, link­ing the two crimes to­gether.

At both places the An­napo­lis District RCMP were called in and pro­cessed the crime scenes with as­sis­tance from the RCMP Foren­sic Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Sec­tion.

“It took me maybe 10 min­utes to re­al­ize that those shelves over there had ac­tu­ally come down,” said Crouse. “That’s when I was re­ally sad – when I saw that.”

The pow­der from the fire ex­tin­guisher cov­ered the front part of the store and her work sta­tion and Sun­day was spent clean­ing up that mess. “To­day we’re go­ing to try to get the shelves back up,” she said Mon­day morn­ing. “Real­pha­bet­iz­ing sec­tions is go­ing to be fun.”

She said she was in shock Sat- ur­day when she came in, and heart­bro­ken to see the mess that would have to be cleaned up.

“But I’m not an­gry. The peo­ple of Bridgetown have been so amaz­ing. I’ve got lots of peo­ple vol­un­teer­ing to come in to­day to help us clean this up and I’ll be up and run­ning hope­fully to­mor­row.”

For D’Au­bin, the late Fri­day night or early Satur­day morn­ing break-in was at least the sixth time in the last few months.

“I’ve lived in this area my whole life. I don’t even know how many gen­er­a­tions of my fam­ily have lived in this area,” D’Au­bin said. “When I grew up I don’t even think we had a key for our front door. We never locked our doors. That’s just the way that it was. I think most peo­ple were like that. It’s not that way now. That’s how much things have changed even in just the time that I’ve grown up. I would never have ex­pected that this would have hap­pened.”

D’Au­bin said theft is one thing, and while she doesn’t con­done it, she un­der­stands it.

“I just think that van­dal­ism takes it up an­other level,” she said. “It was just point­less and sense­less. It’s dis­heart­en­ing is what it is.”

D’Au­bin ap­pre­ci­ates the ef­forts of po­lice.

“I do be­lieve the RCMP are be­ing dili­gent,” D’Au­bin said. “They were here, they spent time here look­ing ev­ery­thing over. I know they’ve upped their pa­trols in the area. I can’t ask them to be my per­sonal se­cu­rity.”

She thinks there is an onus on com­mu­nity as well.

“I think we as a com­mu­nity can­not ex­pect the RCMP to do all the work. I think that we as a com­mu­nity have to step up,” she said. “We have to start talk­ing to each other. We have to start keep­ing an eye out for each other. That’s what we need to do. That’s what’s go­ing to be help­ful.”

“It’s very sad­den­ing to see these type of in­ci­dents in our com­mu­nity,” said RCMP Const. Ch­eryl Ponee. “It’s one thing to have a break-in, but for prop­erty to be com­pletely de­stroyed for no pur­pose, is just heart break­ing.”

She said po­lice are en­cour­ag­ing any­one with any in­for­ma­tion to con­tact the An­napo­lis District RCMP.

“We also are ask­ing that mem­bers of the com­mu­nity keep an eye out for each other and re­port any sus­pi­cious peo­ple or in­ci­dents, no mat­ter how mi­nor in na­ture, to the RCMP,” she said.

Reach the An­napo­lis District RCMP at 902-665-4481, or call Nova Sco­tia Crime Stop­pers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), sub­mit a se­cure web tip at www.crimestop­pers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

Jen­nifer Crouse stands among the downed book shelves at End­less Shores Books in Bridgetown where van­dals broke in late Sept. 28 or early Sept. 29 and van­dal­ized the store. She was still clean­ing up on Mon­day.

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

Lift­ing up these shelves and re-al­pha­bet­iz­ing nu­mer­ous book shelves at End­less Shores Books in Bridgetown will take a while. Owner Jen­nifer Crouse was hop­ing to re-open Oct. 2 af­ter a week­end clean­ing up van­dal­ism.

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