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Barrie bistro owner closes up shop amid series of break-ins

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The owner of a downtown Barrie business targeted by multiple break-ins, thefts and vandalism is closing up shop.

"It is no surprise that we have had our struggles with a series of break-ins, as well as the deteroiration of the location itself," wrote Francesco Petrusa, owner of Limoncello Bistro, in a Facebook post.

In an interview with CTV News last month, Petrusa expressed his frustration and said he was disheartened by the sixth and most recent break-in, which could cost him $10,000 in repairs.

The social media post continued, "We have put everything we have into this and just have no more to give."

Windows are boarded up at Limoncello Bistro after a recent break-in in Barrie, Ont. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

Adding to his misery, Petrusa said his insurance company deemed his business high-risk due to the crimes and threatened to increase his premiums or drop him as a customer.

"The last two years, we had a series of flooding, have had to operate with no heat in the winter, where we lost three months of business and tens of thousands of dollars. We have had to pay for all structural issues in the building when the issue wasn't part of our business," Petrusa noted.

Owner Francesco Petrusa inside Limoncello Bistro on Maple Avenue in Barrie, Ont., on Wed., May 8, 2024. (CTV News/Catalina Gillies)

During the May break-in, vandals smashed windows, ripped the door off its hinges and stole patio furniture.

The father of five said sales are down nearly 50 per cent.

Moving forward, Petrusa plans to put his energy into his catering business and "take some time to heal from this."

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