After nearly two years of already tough business, one Grimsby business owner is breathing “sigh of defeat” following a burglary at his downtown store.
In the early hours of Oct. 15, James Remers awoke to phone calls and text messages from neighbouring business owners, informing him of a break-in at his store, Simply Moto.
Security camera footage showed a truck reversing through the front of his store on Grimsby’s Main Street, destroying the glass door at 4:30 a.m.
Three masked individuals can be seen on video entering Simply Moto and then stealing several jackets, helmets and other gear. The thieves stole what Remers estimates to be about $18,000-worth of merchandise, all in less than 90 seconds, before getting back in their truck and driving off.
Remers opened the store with his wife four years ago. He said he had been working in motorsports much of his life and noticed a small community of motorcycle enthusiasts in the area and opted to set up shop.
“We finally had felt like we were starting to gain some ground again,” Remers said, reflecting on nearly two years of lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions.
“One step forward, two steps back.”
Remers thanked Grimsby’s motorcycle community for their support before and after the incident. He said some customers had even come in to make bigger than usual purchases to help out financially.
While he recognizes times are tough for a lot of people, he said that he hopes whoever “goes through the trouble of doing something like that, it's to put food on the table for their family and kids,” and not some selfish reason.
“I mean, even at the best of times, thefts hurt business, but the timing couldn't have been worse,” he said.
Remers said he is currently in talks with his insurance company about coverage of the loss.
According to Niagara Regional Police media officer Const. Phil Gavin, officers do not have any suspects but are continuing an investigation.
Police are searching for a Silver Ford 250 pickup truck with an extended cab that was driven into the store and are encouraging members of the public to come forward if they have any information.
If the stolen goods hit the market again for sale, Gavin said unusual price points, or strange seller details may be an indicator that the items were previously stolen.
“If people believe something (they’re buying) is stolen, they should not purchase it and call us,” Gavin said.
Those with information that wish to contact law enforcement anonymously can do so by calling Crime Stoppers of Niagara at 1-800-222-8477 or visiting crimestoppersniagara.ca.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News