Family paying price for living in Amherst
Downtown vandalism costing new mother
The victim: a work-from-home mother currently collecting maternity benefits.
That is, until someone smashed the windows of the retail space she and her husband rents out. Now they are looking to those maternity benefits to help replace the windows. Again.
When Ashley and Ray Hickey purchased the Church Street property across from the Cineplex Cinema in Amherst, the goal was to offer retail space downstairs while living with their newborn, Alex, in the apartment upstairs. Downtown Amherst is a relatively quiet place after 9 p.m. most weekdays, but the Hickeys have been experiencing the polar opposite of that peace.
“A few days before [Alex] was born someone broke this one,” Ashley said, pointing to the first of a row of large, double pane windows Sept. 18. “So then last night, around nine o’clock, we heard the crashing of these two.”
The windows, both the same size as the first, appear to be punched. A single, fist-size hole in each are crowned with cracks and shards of glass.
It’s the second time in three months the new mother is looking to her maternity benefits to offset the cost of fixing vandalism since moving to the community from Parrsboro.
“These things are about a grand apiece… the reality is mat-leave is expensive. When you go on matleave you take over a 60 per cent cut in pay.”
“The police asked us if it’s personal, is it someone we have (a problem with). We just moved to town. We haven’t lived her for longer than six months. We don’t really know anyone.”
Amherst Police are following up on the matter, and preliminary information suggests two people were involved, Ashley
said. As it stands, the first case remains unsolved, and Ashley is frustrated this recent case will net the same results unless someone steps forward.
“The police asked us if it’s personal, is it someone we have [a problem with]. We just moved to town. We haven’t lived her for longer than six months. We don’t really know anyone.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Amherst Police at 902667-7227 or Nova Scotia Crime
Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers. ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not tapped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash award.
In 2016, Crimestoppers. ca paid out $13,690 in cash rewards based on 60 tip-related arrests resulting in 206 charges.
It’s hard getting a good night’s rest in Amherst being a new mother and landlord when vandals are repeatedly damaging your commercial rental property, says newborn Alex’s mother, Ashley Hickey.