Five-year string of repeated break-ins has Windsor bakery owner 'discouraged'

When Saskia Scott became the owner of the Sweet Revenge Bake Shop in Riverside, she knew her budget would account for purchasing ingredients, upgrading baking equipment and paying employees — but not for beefing up security.

"People work really hard to own businesses and it's really difficult to continuously be broken into," said Scott.

On Tuesday, Scott alleged that someone had broken into the bakery for the seventh time since she took up ownership five years ago. The Facebook page for Sweet Revenge Bakery Shop appears to show security footage from two of the alleged break-and-enters.

Scott said she wasn't too concerned after the first break-in, assuming that whoever was responsible was just "down on their luck." But when it happened for a second time, Scott said the bakery invested in upgraded security cameras and motion sensors.

"The next time, they still got in. They keep throwing rocks through the window and entering through — rummaging around to see what they can get. They never get away with much," she said, adding she's only noticed "plastic forks and packs of change" go missing.

"They're not stealing anything of worth. They're just making it very inconvenient. We have to continuously replace the door."

Another break-in resulted in the bakery's $2,000 glass display case needing to be replaced.

"We had to replace the glass, so we could still have dessert and serve things here," said Scott.

On Facebook, some have pointed fingers of blame at Windsor police for not doing enough to stop these alleged break-ins from happening. But according to Scott, that criticism is unwarranted.

"Every time they come, they make suggestions on what we can do better. Every time they've suggested something, we've implemented it — changing the position of our cameras, leaving lights on at night, putting an [empty register] drawer on the table so it shows there's no cash on hand," she said.

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The bakery has also put up security bars across its door and windows — a measure which Scott describes as "a last resort."

"We are a higher-end bakery. We'd like to keep higher-end clientele which can be difficult to do if it looks like a convenience store outside," she said.

Extra security measures have also come at a significant cost to the bakery — which Scott estimates at about $5,000. The 22-year-old adds she might include those costs in her next annual budget because a break-in "happens that often."

"We have high-quality footage from security cameras. We have night vision. We have motion sensors. I don't know what else you want us to do at this point."

Sanjay Maru/CBC

If repeated instances of breaking-and-entering continue to take place, it may become discouraging to report them to police. But according to Const. Talya Natyshak, frequent reporting is vital to their investigation.

"That could lead us to allocate those resources and lead us to know what times these occurrences are happening and we can keep an eye out in those specific areas," said Natyshak.

"If a business is being specifically targeted, we want to know that. We want to work with those business owners and try to help them in any way that we can to prevent further incidents."

Sanjay Maru/CBC

Scott said the bakery has reported all seven break-ins to Windsor police.

Windsor police wouldn't confirm if break-ins at Sweet Revenge Bake Shop have been on their radar, since Windsor police do not comment on matters involving specific businesses.

The shop has elected not to file an insurance claim since the deductible would be too costly. Sweet Revenge has also decided not to put its logo on the bakery's front door since it needs to be replaced on a regular basis.

Instead, Scott is doing the only thing she knows how. She's conducting business as usual, hoping the seventh break-in will be the last.

"We work our hearts out. We're very passionate at what we do. It's really discouraging to try and stay positive."