“It could be too late”: OEV business owner asks for solutions to chronic break-ins



LONDON, ONT – For the second time in a week, a shopkeeper in the Old East Village has to deal with a break-in.

It’s the fourth in his business in recent months and part of a string of business slumps in the area.

“Our business can’t stand breaking windows every other night, which it seems to do over and over again,” Lyndon Horsfall told CTV News.

He agreed to the interview on Sunday morning and admitted that he was exhausted responding to another crime in the middle of the night at the Mystic Bookshop. He and his wife own the shop near the intersection of Dundas and Adelaide, within sight of the police station.

It was 4 a.m. on Sunday when a suspect burst in.

Showing from the Mystic Bookshop security camera that shows alleged Sunday burglary

In a matter of seconds, he had smashed a security camera that indicated he knew where it was.

The same camera caught a figure looking through the windows at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The police were called despite the video replaying previous crimes in the bookstore and other stores.

Horsfall says the seemingly unstoppable Smash and Grabs has taken an emotional toll.

“One of the worst feelings in the world is when your wife or partner sobs and cries and wonders why they are doing what they are doing and you have to hold them. And you know it’s tough. “

And while there are novels about witchcraft in the Mystic Bookshop, Horsfall refrains from casting a spell and again turns to the city for help.

Local councilor Jesse Helmer, who spoke of sympathy with business owners in the area in March, promised the city to respond on Sunday.

Via text message, Helmer said a cleaning team was active to help business owners while city workers were trained to keep an eye on the street.

There comes a time when Dundas East is doing major road works.

The community effort that Horsfall welcomed is not enough.

So he occasionally rolls out of bed and sleeps a few hours in his shop while keeping watch at night.

Although he generally supports police officers, he says he made interesting observations on those nights

“I’ve never seen a cop walk past.”

Helmers counters, however, by noting that the London police have stepped up foot patrols in recent months.

Horsefall welcomes the step. But to further increase security, he’s working with his landlord to enforce permits to install metal shutters that he can hang over his shop front at night.

But if the city doesn’t approve them, Horsfall says he and his wife may be at a crossroads with their business that has been anchored in the Old East for 30 years.

“We’re not going to go, but every time it happens you think that’s the last straw.”



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