Another robbery too much for local business owner during pandemic

EDMONTON — Tony Gallace doesn’t know how much more he can take.

Outside his Edmonton sporting goods shop lays the metal frame that was supposed to protect his storefront. Someone weaved a chain through the bars and ripped it down. Edmonton police investigators believe a heavy vehicle was used.

Sports Shack has been broken into five times at its current location and twice in the last few months. 

The latest was early Monday morning.

“Every time there’s a break-in, there’s always costs involved right, and the insurance it goes up right? There’s other things that go, then you got to pay your deductible, so it’s hard,” said Gallace.

Gallace runs the shop with his sister-in-law and nephew which specializes in bike sales and repair. This time, Gallace said the thief or thieves made off with a dozen or more bikes. His nephew is still checking inventory to get the exact number. 

Break-ins would be difficult enough for the small business owner to endure but this, coupled with the pandemic, has made it even worse. 

“Yeah we closed last year for a bit and also for a month this year. So it’s hard. Not just on us but on everybody. I believe on every business here. And we’re slowly trying to make it, but then these things happen and it sets you back some more.”

Edmonton police said officers responded to a break and enter call in the area just after 6 a.m. and confirm several bikes were stolen.

A canvassing for security footage came up empty but police continue to investigate, said Carolin Maran, a spokesperson with the EPS Media Relations Unit. 

“There is no evidence at this point that links this B&E to previous incidents at the location. To date, we are not aware of any arrests or charges in the other incidents,” said Maran, in an email to CTV News Edmonton.

The only silver lining, according to Gallace, is the support he gets from the community. 

“We definitely want to thank the community already for what they’ve been doing in supporting our store, you know. So, if I can only tell them to keep on supporting the local businesses to help us get through this thing.”

Sports Shack is located in east Edmonton at 8170 50 St NW. 

With files from Dan Grummett

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