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Series of brazen break-ins at Barrie businesses cost owners thousands

A series of break-ins at Barrie businesses has caused concern among owners who feel the police should do more, while authorities ask owners to step up security.

Security video at Power Up Gaming shows two suspects using a 20-pound rock to smash the video game store's glass door repeatedly before gaining entry.

It only took the thieves minutes to find what they were looking for and make off with tens of thousands of dollars worth of trading cards and collectibles, the store's owner says.

And Kevin Wells says it's not the first time.

"In the last 12 months, we've lost $100,000 worth of funds available to our business from break-ins, damages, security upgrades, extra cameras," he says.

Wells says his insurance had provided little help with the situation, so he's working on beefing up security for his business.

He says last month was the third time his store was broken into in a year, despite having 10 cameras keeping watch.

"The biggest thing is a lot of the damage - any of the break-ins - it's a personal violation of our personal property, which is very hard," he adds.

Shirley Sanford has been in the antique business for 34 years and says she's sickened after a break-in at her store was caught on camera.

"I work hard and these scumballs are out there doing what they think they need to do best, but God help them if I catch them," she says.

Several other shops and small business owners said they have also been targeted by thieves.

And Sanford says when the suspects are arrested, justice isn't always served.

"If they do get caught, they go before a judge, and the judge throws it out, tells them not to do it again, and they just go and do it again," she says.

"We try and do everything we can to make this place secure," says Wells. "Smash and grabs are pretty unstoppable."

Meanwhile, Barrie police encourage small business owners to upgrade lighting and security systems to do everything possible to avoid becoming a victim. Top Stories

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