Bullocks Bistro on March 1, 2023, the morning after a break-in. Brooklyn Connolly/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife’s Bullocks Bistro restaurant and the Stanley Boxing and Fitness gym were each broken into between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
The owners of both businesses say while not much was stolen, their properties sustained significant damage. Bullocks remained closed on Wednesday, though the gym was able to open.
Whether any connection exists between the incidents is not clear. RCMP had not responded to a request for comment as of 7pm on Wednesday.
Jo-Ann Martin, who owns Bullocks, said she hopes to open again on Thursday – though possibly only accepting cash sales, as all of the restaurant’s electronic equipment was destroyed.
“I’m assuming whoever broke in had a little bit of brainpower because they took down our camera system,” said Martin, explaining that wiring was torn down and their modem smashed. A point-of-sale system that allows them to accept credit and debit cards was damaged.
The thieves stole an iPad and cash drawer and smashed a window on a door to get in, Martin said.
“No one was hurt,” she said. “It’s just a lot of damage and repairs at a time when we’re trying to come back from Covid – and then something like this happens and it sets you back a few thousand dollars.”
“We thank our lucky stars it wasn’t worse,” she said, noting this is the third break-in Bullocks has had in the seven years Martin and her family have owned the business.
She now plans to upgrade the cameras and ensure footage is uploaded online, so that even if the system does sustain damage, the data won’t be destroyed.
She encouraged anyone with information about the break-in to contact the RCMP.
Thieves enter gym through wall
Scott Thomson, who co-owns Stanley Boxing and Fitness, said this is the second break-in his business has sustained in three weeks. After the first, a few weeks ago, the gym had an alarm system put in.
“This one was quick and dirty,” he said, noting that while cameras show the thieves spent just over 20 minutes banging through the drywall to get in, they triggered the alarms almost immediately once inside and left the way they came. (The business shares a wall with an apartment complex, Thomson explained.)
“They were willing to do some work,” he said of the effort to break in through the wall. “Why not put it to something good?”
He said the thieves were in and out in around two minutes, narrowly evading RCMP, who arrived soon after the alarm went off. Unfortunately, the cameras were not able to get a good image of those involved.
In addition to minimal cash, the thieves also made off with all of the cheques – which had already been deposited – from a recent kickboxing tournament fundraiser.
Thomson said the gym has notified sponsors who wrote those cheques and made banks aware in case anyone tries to deposit them a second time.
Despite the damage to the wall, the gym was able to open on Wednesday. Thomson said Midwest Property Management, which owns the building, had workers on site in the morning to fix the wall.