Businesses in East and West Hants frustrated, angry after weekend break-ins

·3 min read
Nova Scotia RCMP say they are investigating numerous break-ins at businesses in East and West Hants. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia RCMP say they are investigating numerous break-ins at businesses in East and West Hants. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

RCMP are investigating after a series of Easter weekend break-ins at businesses in East and West Hants.

Sgt. Andrew Joyce, the Nova Scotia RCMP public information officer, confirmed that they are investigating "numerous" break-ins. He said the number is more than three.

Owners of Hill Top Hops brewery near Brooklyn, N.S., said there was a break-in on Friday night and thieves returned Saturday night and left a "huge mess" in their wake.

Adrienne Peters, who runs the business with her husband, says thieves targeted the brewery early Friday, stole a few things and made a mess. They woke up on Easter Sunday to learn it had happened again — and the thieves had doubled down.

"This time they took whatever they could," Peters said. She said intruders stole items like a large TV and small brewing equipment and caused much more damage than the first incident.

"I think the absolute worst part is when someone makes you feel unsafe like that," she said.

Since the incidents, many people have reached out to Peters to share similar experiences.

"People in our community are really, really scared and it's just a really uneasy feeling to have."

At the Tidal Bore Farm Market next door, co-owner Sherry Nielsen said she learned of a break-in early Saturday.

She said not much was taken from her business other than a laptop, some soft drinks and some chocolate bars.

Neilsen said the main problem was a smashed front door she estimates will cost over $2,000 to replace. She threw out some produce out of fear that it had been contaminated by glass fragments.

'It's horrible'

Neilsen said it has been a traumatic experience.

"It's horrible. It just makes you … feel so invaded," she said. "We are a small community, so something like this, it's just like it's a violation of our safety."

She said was sad and a bit angry on Saturday. But she said she was furious Sunday that people would do so much damage for hardly any valuables.

She said it is especially frustrating because businesses that have faced hard times during the pandemic are now having to deal with costly repairs.

Vehicles broken into

Not too far away on Highway 1, Serenity Acres Family Ranch also fell victim to thieves early Saturday.

In a Facebook post, the ranch owner said their home and vehicles were broken into.

Owner Kristy Falconer said the ranch does work with veterans and first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said a veteran with PTSD was staying in a respite trailer and his vehicle was broken into. He had a wet suit and some other equipment stolen.

Falconer said the veteran used surfing as his way of coping. She said he teaches surfing so the theft affects his livelihood.

She said she heard noise in the house but thought it was from her two sons raiding the fridge.

According to Falconer, the thieves took a drum kit, an emergency medical kit, road equipment and wilderness supplies.

She said she always felt safe in the past and generally left her house and car unlocked.

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