In the New

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRYROBERTS edi­tor@cb­n­com­

Busi­ness own­ers stung by break-in The own­ers of Bur­den’s Foodex in Broad Cove were count­ing their losses last week af­ter thieves smashed into their store and looted thou­sands of dol­lars worth of to­bacco prod­ucts.

Sit­ting in a small of­fice at the rear of Bur­den’s Foodex in Broad Cove, an ex­as­per­ated Tina Bur­den is cal­cu­lat­ing her losses.

For this small con­ve­nience store, lo­cated on the main road through the com­mu­nity, the num­bers are stag­ger­ing.

She es­ti­mates that $5,000 to $6,000 worth of to­bacco prod­ucts were stolen from the busi­ness dur­ing a brazen early-morn­ing break-in on Tues­day, July 20.

“All the cig­a­rettes are gone,” she said, with a dis­heart­ened look on her face.

At the front of the store, Tina’s fa­ther-in-law, Wil­fred Bur­den, was us­ing a power drill and screws to se­cure a piece of ply­wood over an open­ing that used to be a large win­dow.

He lives next door to the busi­ness and never heard a thing un­til a neigh­bour called to re­port a sus­pi­cious car in front of the busi­ness at about 4:30 a.m.

“ They were gone be­fore we got here,” Wil­fred said of the cul­prits, who used a bas­ket­ball-sized rock to smash the win­dow and gain en­try.

They took ev­ery to­bacco prod­uct they could get their hands on, added Tina.

“There were a few sin­gle packs left and one car­ton we had laid aside for a cus­tomer,” she noted.

It was the first such in­ci­dent at Bur­den’s in the 26 years that it has been serv­ing the res­i­dents from Kingston to Western Bay, on the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay.

It’s be­lieved that at least two peo­ple pulled up to the front of the busi­ness just be­fore day­light and pulled off the heist. Some scratch lot­tery tick­ets were also taken.

A sub­ject wear­ing a light coloured jacket and car­ry­ing a bag was ob­served go­ing to a ve­hi­cle that was parked at the store. The ve­hi­cle de­parted head­ing south on Route 70, in the di­rec­tion of Car­bon­ear.

Tina and her hus­band, Mar­cel, run the busi­ness. They took it over sev­eral years ago from Mar­cel’s par­ents, Wil­fred and Ros­alind.

In ad­di­tion to gen­eral goods, the store also has a postal out­let and a Sears out­let.

But the thieves only seemed in­ter­ested in the to­bacco prod­ucts be­cause they are light and very ex­pen­sive, Wil­fred said.

The Bur­dens carry in­surance, but the own­ers ex­pect to lose sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars af­ter de­ductibles and lost busi­ness is fac­tored in. And they have also de­cided to in­stall se­cu­rity cam­eras and in­stall bars over the win­dows.

Tina was frus­trated and an­gered by the in­va­sion, but said she’ll get over it.

“ It’s not nice to think some­one would go on your prop­erty and do some­thing like this,” she said. “It makes you won­der how des­per­ate some peo­ple are.”

It was the sec­ond high-pro­file break and en­ter in the area this month.

On July 5, thieves broke into Western Bay Phar­macy in an at­tempt to steal nar­cotics, but dropped their booty dur­ing their get­away.

As of late last week, no charges had been laid in ei­ther of the in­ci­dents.

But po­lice do not be­lieve the two break-ins are con­nected.

“ These phar­macy breakins are com­mon to a group of known sus­pects,” said S/Sgt Rick Robin­son of the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP.

“ The M. O. ( method of op­er­at­ing) and the tools and the ex­tent of the plan­ning is of a higher level than a rock through the win­dow.”

In­deed, the cul­prits in the phar­macy break-in left be­hind a bag filled with a va­ri­ety of con­struc­tion tools, and po­lice have sug­gested those re­spon­si­ble are “not from the im­me­di­ate area.”

Robin­son de­scribed the Broad Cove break-in as “op­por­tunis­tic” and hinted that it’s more likely the cul­prits were from the area.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on ei­ther of these crimes is asked to call the RCMP at 596-5014, or Crime Stop­pers anony­mously at 1-800-222-8477.

Pho­tos by Terry Roberts

Wil­fred Bur­den dis­plays the large rock he be­lieves was used to smash the front win­dow of Bur­den’s Foodex in Broad Cove dur­ing a break-in on July 20. A sheet of ply­wood was in­stalled at the front of Bur­den’s Foodex in Broad Cove af­ter thieves smashed out the large win­dow dur­ing a break-in on July 20.

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