It was a tough weekend for two downtown business-owners and their teams, who arrived to their respective stores only to find the businesses had been broken into overnight.
Those at Trailhead on Princess Street found out on the next morning that thieves had breached security at their store overnight on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, breaking in through a side door and making off with a number of coats from a high-end outdoors wear company. According to those with Trailhead, the break-in was targeted and planned.
“The thief knew exactly what he was after, so he had to have been in the store previously. On video, we have them going directly to the Arc’teryx men’s rack and grabbing as many jackets as he could carry out and quickly leaving the store,” said Meghan Brooks, General Manager at the well-loved outdoor and camping supply store.
“It was a range from insulated winter jackets to light fleece, but all from the same company. The approximate value is $6,800.”
While Trailhead hasn’t had another break-in this year, they do have to deal with in-store thefts on a regular basis, Brooks said. And, like many independent, locally-owned and –operated stores downtown, the break-in and theft impacts the bottom line for Trailhead in more ways than the average citizen might think.
“The first response is always of a violation of property, and then you feel a mixture of emotions ranging from anger to the inconvenience of having to deal with the issue. When you are stolen from it’s so much more than just the monetary value stolen, it’s the time it takes to report it, repair the damages to the building, and replace the merchandise so that it doesn’t further affect our business,” she expressed. “Being one of the only independent outdoor retailers we need to have stock availability of the product our customers know and love.”
And then there is the weighing of what to do as far as insurance is concerned – another common issue for independent downtown retailers.
“Thank goodness they did not break any glass, but they did, with force, break our door open and now will need to be replaced. As a small business, the deductible is more than the value of goods stolen, so we are choosing to absorb the costs and move forward the best we can,” Brooks said. “We are looking into adding more cameras, upping our security system and many other things we are forced to do in this situation.”
The following night, another downtown retailer was targeted – only this time, it was the second such break and enter with theft in so many weeks. Those with Frontenac Cycle Sport on Barrie Street found out their store was broken into overnight on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019 – two weeks exactly from the previous break-in on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
There, the suspects repeated the break-in as per two weeks previous, breaking the glass in the front door and making off with what they could. In the first break-in, two bikes were stolen: a $6,000 Norco electric fat bike, and a $3,600 Norco mountain bike.
On the second occasion, owner Graeme Healey believed the thieves had only made off with money from the till, however, while speaking with Kingstonist, he discovered another bike worth approximately $3,000 was also stolen.
“So I am currently looking at approximately $11,000 to $13,000 in theft and damages,” Healey said, noting that he still hasn’t heard back from his insurance company regarding the first incident.
And the newlywed seemed to be more upset with himself than with the fact a break and enter with theft had occurred again.
“I am beating myself up about not having the cameras installed yet. I purchased them and started installing before my honeymoon and then got busy, so decided to finish when I got back,” Healey said candidly. “Then I got sick, along with my family, so I didn’t get them installed in time for the second theft. I’m very frustrated with my procrastination.”
Still, Healey shows no sign of giving up his popular bicycle shop, known for working with the community to battle against bike theft.
“I guess I would like your readers to know that there seems to have been an increase in our area and to be extra careful with their stuff,” Healey said. “I am a big believer in Karma. I’m still happy with how my life is, and it’s probably better than anyone’s who is willing to steal from me.”
Like Healey, those at Trailhead aren’t about to close up shop anytime soon – they know the important role they play in the local community, and appreciate the support they’ve already been shown since the incident occurred last night.
“We love Kingston! This is our city and we are their local outdoor shop. Theft affects everyone. It affects business and it affects how we can serve our customers,” Brooks said. “We want everyone to know we were overwhelmed with the Facebook response. Our customers are loyal and we appreciate them sharing our story and hope that this thief will be found and items returned.”
The following is a list of the coats and jackets stolen from Trailhead and some sample photos of what they look like:
- Arc’teryx Magnus ‘Tui’ in medium, large, and x-large
- Arc’teryx Delta LT ‘Yukon’ in Medium and large
- Arc’teryx Delta LT ‘Proteus’ in Large
- Arc’teryx Delta LT ‘Tui’ in Large
- Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody ‘Amber’ in large (x2)
- Arc’teryx Beta AR ‘Amber’ in Large
- Arc’teryx Beta AR ‘Tui’ in large
- Arc’teryx Beta AR ‘Yukon’ in medium, large, and x-large
Anyone who sees these items for sale, or who may know anything regarding the break-in and theft at Trailhead is asked to contact Kingston Police at 613-549-4660 ext. 0.
Kingston Police confirmed that both of these break-ins were reported and are currently being investigated. Anyone with information regarding the break and enter with theft at Frontenac Cycle Sport is asked to contact Kingston police at 613-549-4660 ext. 0.
Kingstonist did not hear back from Kingston Police with regard to whether or not there has been an increase in break-ins and thefts in downtown Kingston by time of press. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as information becomes available.