‘It’s happened too much’: Bridgeland businesses say they’re repeatedly hit by thieves

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Bridgeland businesses repeatedly hit by thieves
WATCH: Businesses in Bridgeland are sounding the alarm after a series of break-ins, repeatedly targeting the inner-city neighborhood. Sarah Offin has more on the impact during an otherwise busy holiday season. – Dec 4, 2023

Monday is the only day of the week bakers aren’t at Mari Bakeshop during the early morning hours.  And at around 4 a.m. thieves broke in, making off with the cash register and leaving behind a mess of broken glass.

They’re not the first business on cleanup duty this week. Several others nearby have boarded up windows or doors, and similar losses.

“We see the windows. We see the boards going up,” said Doug Gregory, co-owner of Mari Bakeshop. “It’s accepted. But it’s never acceptable.

“But it just constantly happens and it’s just one of these things. And there’s just nothing that you can do about it.”

The window at Five Vines Wine and Spirits in Bridgeland was also smashed with a rock last Saturday. Thieves took money and goods in that case.

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Last summer the wine store installed automatic locks, which give employees the ability to restrict access to the store, allowing only customers they feel are safe during the evening hours. Owners said over the summer, this location and others were targeted in swarmings.

“It’s too much. It’s happened too much,” said Ahmad Abdulghani, owner of Roma’s Pizza.

The pizza shop’s front door was also smashed in last Saturday, but crooks didn’t get access in that case.

“They couldn’t get in because there’s a double lock and the bars,” said Abdulghani. “But they made enough mess.”

It’s a mess the community association has noticed too. The Bridgeland Riverside Community Association (BRCA) also saw its own theft and vandalism this week at their community basketball court.

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It just signed a year-long agreement with Calgary police to set up a weekly engagement hub at their community hall.

“The goal of that is to increase their visibility of uniformed police officers, but also act as a information place that people can come in to and talk to CPS, and get to know them,” said Alex MacWilliam, BRCA president. “And hopefully CPS get to learn more about the community and the concerns that people have.”

Calgary police said citywide break and enter numbers this year are lower than the five year average, but note they have seen a sharp increase in recent weeks due, in part, to some prolific offenders.

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