Lights, cameras to deter plaza vandals

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Vandalism and other youth crimes in and around Tim Hortons and Harvey's have become a call for action for business owners in the Waterdown Shopping Centre.

Rudy Rullo, co-owner of Tim Hortons, said he will soon have digital surveillance cameras installed outside and will talk with the owners of Harvey's and Sobeys about putting up more powerful exterior lighting.

The action is being taken in the wake of vandalism that occurred early Monday morning, resulting in broken signage at the drive-thrus of both Tim Hortons and Harvey's. Nearby business owners are also concerned for the safety of their workers after a Dec. 27 assault near the drive-thrus which left a 14-year-old plaza employee with a concussion. He was beaten by two youths during a failed robbery.

"We have to take care of our own," Rullo said this week while talking about the need for surveillance cameras. "The more security, the better everyone will feel."

Harvey's owner Norm Bourassa said he is also considering increased security measures for both the interior and exterior of his business.

Sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday, the menu boards at the two drive-thrus were smashed. Bourassa, who estimated damages at $1,200 to $1,800, said the presence of groups of youths in the area continues to be a problem. He estimates that as many as 10 to 20 youths loiter outside Sobeys' front door every night. "They were there at 10:30 p.m. last night (Sunday)," he said.

"Where are the parents of these kids?" he asked. "Why don't they question why their children aren't at home late at night?"

While Bourassa plans to improve visibility around his store with brighter lights, he also feels there should be a greater police presence in the area to discourage youths from gathering outside the stores.

Two weeks ago, Sobeys installed new lighting at the back of their building. But that didn't discourage culprits from breaking wooden crates stored outside the grocery store and using the sticks to break the drive-thru signs.

Rullo said plaza owner Jack Rabba has agreed to pay for additional cameras that will cover the mall's parking lot, as well as the areas around Harvey's and Sobeys. The new cameras will be hooked into the Tim Hortons system, he added.

Vandalism and crime in the area could be deterred by enforcement of a youth curfew, Bourassa suggested. But Sgt. Dan Welsh, division sector manager for crime with the Hamilton Police Service, said a complaint about youths causing mischief is needed to launch police action.

"We can't be everywhere at once. It's a hit-or-miss thing," he explained.

As for a curfew, apart from court-imposed restrictions that are ordered as conditions of release, there is a section of the Child Welfare Act that says youths under 16 should be home by midnight, the sergeant said. But no charges can be laid under the section and there is no guarantee that the youth won't head back outside after the police officer has left, he added.

Welsh said police respond to reports of mischief in progress and investigate acts of vandalism when suspects have been observed leaving the crime site.

Any witnesses with information about the recent vandalism at the Tim Hortons and Harvey's drive-thrus are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 905-522-TIPS (8477) or call 1-800-222-TIPS.

Lights, cameras to deter plaza vandals

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Vandalism and other youth crimes in and around Tim Hortons and Harvey's have become a call for action for business owners in the Waterdown Shopping Centre.

Rudy Rullo, co-owner of Tim Hortons, said he will soon have digital surveillance cameras installed outside and will talk with the owners of Harvey's and Sobeys about putting up more powerful exterior lighting.

The action is being taken in the wake of vandalism that occurred early Monday morning, resulting in broken signage at the drive-thrus of both Tim Hortons and Harvey's. Nearby business owners are also concerned for the safety of their workers after a Dec. 27 assault near the drive-thrus which left a 14-year-old plaza employee with a concussion. He was beaten by two youths during a failed robbery.

"We have to take care of our own," Rullo said this week while talking about the need for surveillance cameras. "The more security, the better everyone will feel."

Harvey's owner Norm Bourassa said he is also considering increased security measures for both the interior and exterior of his business.

Sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday, the menu boards at the two drive-thrus were smashed. Bourassa, who estimated damages at $1,200 to $1,800, said the presence of groups of youths in the area continues to be a problem. He estimates that as many as 10 to 20 youths loiter outside Sobeys' front door every night. "They were there at 10:30 p.m. last night (Sunday)," he said.

"Where are the parents of these kids?" he asked. "Why don't they question why their children aren't at home late at night?"

While Bourassa plans to improve visibility around his store with brighter lights, he also feels there should be a greater police presence in the area to discourage youths from gathering outside the stores.

Two weeks ago, Sobeys installed new lighting at the back of their building. But that didn't discourage culprits from breaking wooden crates stored outside the grocery store and using the sticks to break the drive-thru signs.

Rullo said plaza owner Jack Rabba has agreed to pay for additional cameras that will cover the mall's parking lot, as well as the areas around Harvey's and Sobeys. The new cameras will be hooked into the Tim Hortons system, he added.

Vandalism and crime in the area could be deterred by enforcement of a youth curfew, Bourassa suggested. But Sgt. Dan Welsh, division sector manager for crime with the Hamilton Police Service, said a complaint about youths causing mischief is needed to launch police action.

"We can't be everywhere at once. It's a hit-or-miss thing," he explained.

As for a curfew, apart from court-imposed restrictions that are ordered as conditions of release, there is a section of the Child Welfare Act that says youths under 16 should be home by midnight, the sergeant said. But no charges can be laid under the section and there is no guarantee that the youth won't head back outside after the police officer has left, he added.

Welsh said police respond to reports of mischief in progress and investigate acts of vandalism when suspects have been observed leaving the crime site.

Any witnesses with information about the recent vandalism at the Tim Hortons and Harvey's drive-thrus are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 905-522-TIPS (8477) or call 1-800-222-TIPS.

Lights, cameras to deter plaza vandals

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Vandalism and other youth crimes in and around Tim Hortons and Harvey's have become a call for action for business owners in the Waterdown Shopping Centre.

Rudy Rullo, co-owner of Tim Hortons, said he will soon have digital surveillance cameras installed outside and will talk with the owners of Harvey's and Sobeys about putting up more powerful exterior lighting.

The action is being taken in the wake of vandalism that occurred early Monday morning, resulting in broken signage at the drive-thrus of both Tim Hortons and Harvey's. Nearby business owners are also concerned for the safety of their workers after a Dec. 27 assault near the drive-thrus which left a 14-year-old plaza employee with a concussion. He was beaten by two youths during a failed robbery.

"We have to take care of our own," Rullo said this week while talking about the need for surveillance cameras. "The more security, the better everyone will feel."

Harvey's owner Norm Bourassa said he is also considering increased security measures for both the interior and exterior of his business.

Sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Monday, the menu boards at the two drive-thrus were smashed. Bourassa, who estimated damages at $1,200 to $1,800, said the presence of groups of youths in the area continues to be a problem. He estimates that as many as 10 to 20 youths loiter outside Sobeys' front door every night. "They were there at 10:30 p.m. last night (Sunday)," he said.

"Where are the parents of these kids?" he asked. "Why don't they question why their children aren't at home late at night?"

While Bourassa plans to improve visibility around his store with brighter lights, he also feels there should be a greater police presence in the area to discourage youths from gathering outside the stores.

Two weeks ago, Sobeys installed new lighting at the back of their building. But that didn't discourage culprits from breaking wooden crates stored outside the grocery store and using the sticks to break the drive-thru signs.

Rullo said plaza owner Jack Rabba has agreed to pay for additional cameras that will cover the mall's parking lot, as well as the areas around Harvey's and Sobeys. The new cameras will be hooked into the Tim Hortons system, he added.

Vandalism and crime in the area could be deterred by enforcement of a youth curfew, Bourassa suggested. But Sgt. Dan Welsh, division sector manager for crime with the Hamilton Police Service, said a complaint about youths causing mischief is needed to launch police action.

"We can't be everywhere at once. It's a hit-or-miss thing," he explained.

As for a curfew, apart from court-imposed restrictions that are ordered as conditions of release, there is a section of the Child Welfare Act that says youths under 16 should be home by midnight, the sergeant said. But no charges can be laid under the section and there is no guarantee that the youth won't head back outside after the police officer has left, he added.

Welsh said police respond to reports of mischief in progress and investigate acts of vandalism when suspects have been observed leaving the crime site.

Any witnesses with information about the recent vandalism at the Tim Hortons and Harvey's drive-thrus are asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 905-522-TIPS (8477) or call 1-800-222-TIPS.