Montreal-area business owners report increased vandalism amid coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Montreal-area business owners report increased vandalism amid pandemic
Small businesses are complaining that they are seeing an increase in vandalism and robberies since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to close.

Plywood now replaces glass in windows at McKibbins Irish pub Montreal’s Pointe-Claire suburb after someone broke most of the glass on the front of the building two days ago.

“Smashed out all six of our windows with a sledgehammer, the window here above the door, and took off,” owner Brent Laderoute told Global News.

The person didn’t break into the bar, which has been closed for a week because of the coronavirus pandemic. Laderoute said this is the first time something like this has happened at the pub.

READ MORE: Montreal business owners struggle as revenues dry up amid coronavirus pandemic

“I don’t have an answer,” said Laderoute. “I wish I did.”

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His isn’t the only business that has been targeted. Merchants across the western tip of the island have also had their buildings vandalized.

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The Green Spot restaurant in the southwest borough of St. Henri was also broken into on Tuesday, which was a shock to manager Archie Bras, who said it’s the first time it’s happened.

Coronavirus: Montreal suburb asking residents to report group gatherings
Coronavirus: Montreal suburb asking residents to report group gatherings

“Basically totalled the back door, and got into a bit of our smoked meat,” he said.

Besides the meat, the thief made off with cash and a tablet the owner had just purchased. The tablet was to be used with a food delivery service Bras and his boss are setting up.

“So we’re set back again about another couple of days,” Bras said.

READ MORE: Montreal bars worried they’ll go out of business due to coronavirus pandemic

The robbery now has him concerned for his family’s safety. He said he fears robberies could go beyond restaurants.

“I have a wife and kids at home,” he said. “I want to make sure everybody is safe. When stuff like this starts happening, now it makes you double-think everything. You want to be safe.”

Montreal police say it’s too soon to know if the vandalism has anything to do with the pandemic. Laderoute hopes it doesn’t.

“Unfortunately, in times like this when times are tough, it brings a lot of good out of people,” he said. “But unfortunately, it brings out the worst in some people as well.”

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