In the New
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.
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.