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‘We help each other when somebody is in trouble’: Kingston comic book store owner after break-in

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As if the pandemic hasn’t been hard enough on local businesses.

A break-in at SBT Comics and Games in the Bayridge Centre Plaza in Kingston on December 31st had the owner of the store almost giving up, but community support renewed his faith.

“To be honest it was a crappy way to end the old year” owner Mark Fardella says.

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Fardella says a number of items were stolen, including many high-end comic books from a front counter showcase.

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“I think it was just a smash and grab. Reviewing the video and seeing him grabbing random items — he knew to go behind the counter, he knew that’s where the expensive stuff was unfortunately. But in some cases he grabbed a three hundred dollar book, but next to it was a four thousand dollar book that he completely missed.”

Dejected, discouraged Fardella says it was a tough 2020.

“I went from covid shutdown one was brutal, covid shutdown two might kill us, the break-in was probably — I’m going to sweep the glass up so nobody gets hurt and I’m going to go home. And as I was sweeping the glass up a line of people that wanted to help showed-up and stayed all day.”

And that, according to Fardella was the turning point, the show of support that is keeping him going. And that’s coming from someone who says it’s important to give-back: the store is in the midst of another food drive for the local food bank.

“If you give back then people will respect you for it and they’ll love you for it” says Fardella. “And that’s what this community is, we help each other when somebody is in trouble. People reach out it’s not something that happens in every city I really don’t think it does.”

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Sleep-deprived Fardella says at the moment the store is closed to the public, but curbside pick-up continues.

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A GoFundMe has also been set up to help Fardella deal with the damages.

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