A concerning trend has sprung up in Regina as local restaurants have faced a barrage of break and enters over the summer months.
Numerous establishments have been hit as the bills for property damage and stolen goods pile up.
O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub on Scarth street in downtown Regina has been broken into three times since July.
“Smash and grab man, they smash the window, roll in 20 seconds max and grab whatever they can and get out,” said O’Hanlon’s general manager, Andrew Shanks.
It had been over a decade since the irish pub had its last break-in.
After thousands of dollars in repairs, O’Hanlon’s replaced all of their windows with rock-proof glass.
The thieves even came back but the glass held up.
“Things we do almost every day now is double check the cameras and see whose been around the early morning hours and see if anyone’s been scoping out the place or not,” said Shanks.
The frequent break-ins at O’Hanlon’s are concerning but then considering that Pile O’ Bones, Victoria’s Tavern, Hampton Hub, Takeaway Gourmet, Bar Willow and others have also suffered from the same fate, it’s clear there is a problem.
Police are investigating and they confirm that there have been 10 break and enters since June that are similar in nature with windows smashed and mostly alcohol being stolen.
“It may well be that the cases are linked but we can’t just simply assume that they are. The investigators still have to go through the work for each one in order to lay any charges,” said Elizabeth Popowich with the Regina Police Service.
Over at Pile O’ Bones Brewing Company, it’s more of the same story.
Four break-ins over a six-week span with multiple windows smashed and booze raided, costing them nearly ten thousand dollars to restore.
“It’s a really huge invasion of privacy, when I see the footage it really bothers when I see someone where they shouldn’t be,” said taproom manager Miranda Sanders.
Comparing security footage from the four break-ins, Sanders says it looks to be the same group of four to five individuals committing the crimes.
Along with the stolen product, Pile O’ Bones has followed O’Hanlon’s and footed the bill to replace all their windows with rock-proof glass.
“We’re like a community family here in downtown Regina and we all just want the best for everyone and it’s really unfortunate this keeps happening,” said Sanders.
Unfortunately, the list goes on as the cathedral neighborhood’s Takeaway Gourmet had their front window smashed just earlier this week.
Add that to another break-in they had a month ago where cash and cured meats were stolen.
“It’s disheartening for multiple reasons. We love our store and take a lot of pride in our store. It’s disheartening for our customers who take a lot of pride in us and it sucks for them to see this,” said Jillian Warawa, Takeaway Gourmet manager.
However, no matter who we spoke to, they all confirmed they won’t be letting these recent events sour the community at large.
“We try not to let these occurrences outweigh how supportive our customers and the community have been,” said Shanks.
“The hit is hard, there is no denying that, but it is really lovely that we have a lot of people to fall back on in times like this,” said Warawa.
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