A rash of vandalism this year has Moore’s General Store owner Richard Moore wondering what he is supposed to do to stay afloat.
“It’s been eight months, I haven’t made a penny,” says Moore. “Now things are going on my credit card. What do the police say? ‘Well that’s just the cost of doing business in the city, now. There’s nothing we can do for you.”
Six incidents in the past eight months have plagued the outlet, located on the corner of St. George’s Ave and North Street. There’s been theft, graffiti, and vandalism.
“I don’t run on government money. There’s no government money here. I pay out of my own pocket, out of my pension. Who would have thought two years later this would be an everyday problem?”
In the most recent incident, someone heaved a rock through the window on the north side of the store. Moore says cost of replacing the currently boarded-up window will be $5,000
He says he called city police to report the smashed window at lunch time, this past Monday. He was told a car would be sent over straight away.
“It was my day off. I sat here in the dark and waited until six o’clock. No one showed up. Someone called the next morning, and asked me: ‘Did you call?’
“Yeah, yesterday, 24 hours ago.”
“Do you have video?”
“Well, without video we can’t help you.”
(Moore, with the help of a friend, had high-end security cams installed recently but the rock thrower was not caught on cam leading Moore to believe the stone was thrown from a passing vehicle. He told police he still had the rock and hadn’t touched it, suggesting they could come by and dust it for fingerprints. He said he was told police don’t do that.
Moore, 57, opened the neighbourhood grocery-convenience store in June, 2022, after successfully selling vegetables from his home.
Before opening the store, Moore served in the Canadian Navy. Injuries to his back and a foot led to an honourable discharge.
“I do this just to keep busy,” he says.
To avoid further issues with his back, Moore says he paces himself with daily operational tasks of his store. He’d like to hire some help for what he calls the “bulk work” but says the funds aren’t there.
“We’re paying for a police department that doesn’t have any power anymore. I can count them, about 35 (police cars, fire trucks, ambulances) going by here, back and forth, every day. All this is, is the carousel, of the junkies, being taken up to the hospital. They don’t even go to jail. They get processed. A complete waste of resources right from the beginning. I see them driving up north street, heading back to
the station. They could’ve stopped in and at least taken a report.”
Watching shopping carts go by the store angers Moore. He says “theft is theft” and
says people with stolen carts should be stopped.
“It’s stolen property. Seven hundred dollars to a grocery store. We have to pay for that with inflated grocery prices. I see three or four everyday. Cops just keep on driving by. Theft is theft. I don’t care if its a chocolate bar or a dozen eggs, theft is theft. And if you don’t control it from the very beginning and you let it happen its a domino effect.”
Moore says there’s a bottom line in any business. With the added expenses repairing damage coupled with inherently thin profit margins, his future as a store owner is in serious jeopardy.
“If I don’t get sales up, I’m done,” says Moore. “How many independents are left? I can count them on my hand. It’s not because they couldn’t make it, it’s because of this problem.”