A police cruiser turns onto Victoria Avenue East Thursday afternoon.
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Beverly Dennis has arrived at work to find her storefront vandalized twice within four days.
"Once the door was busted. The person got in, stole some cash, ruffled up the desk area a little bit. The second was just spiteful where they broke the window," said the co-owner of Crafter's Corner on Victoria Avenue East.
"Usually the neighbourhood is not too bad but for some reason it's this last week we don't know why, people are just doing this for kicks or whatever," Dennis said.
Crafter's Corner isn't the only business in the May Street and Victoria Avenue area to be victimized these past couple of weeks by break-ins.
The crime streak has store owners like Dennis banding together to clean up the neighbourhood.
Merchants have started a Facebook group called We Have a Neighbourhood to Build; they hope to reinvigorate the area by attracting and keeping a diversity of businesses.
They want to change the unsafe perception many people have of the area from incidents like the break-ins and the murder that happened on May Street on May 1, where 30-year-old Travis Cutfeet was allegedly stabbed to death in broad daylight on the sidewalk.
Gabrielle Morsches lives in the area with her one-year-old son and said the neighbourhood can be a scary place, but she's not sure what can be done to make it feel more safe.
"There is a lot of police presence. Police are constantly in the neighbourhood and all that so I'm really at a loss to what can actually be done," she said.
The young mother said she doesn't have a problem walking in the area during the day, but it's a different story at night.
"There is no reason I come here at night," she said.
Derek Khani also lives in the area and said he does feel safe walking down Victoria Avenue.
"Once you understand who are the people who are here, then you feel safe because you don't feel foreign to what actually is happening in our city," he said.
The neighbourhood is part of his everyday life. He works as a community educator and is involved in the lives of the people who live in and frequent the area.
"It needs attention. It's screaming for attention. Break-ins are one way of screaming," he said.
The We Have a Neighbourhood to Build Facebook group hopes to give the area some of that attention it needs.
And area businesses have to rely on each other, said Dennis.They're like a village trying to keep the neighbourhood alive and safe.
Dennis felt that support from her neighbours this week when she was told a collection had been started to help them replace their door.
"We're so happy; we're all a little community and we're looking out for each other but we can only do so much," she said.
She said she's pleased with the amount of police presence in the area during the day, but the break-ins are happening at night and she'd like to see some kind of patrolling happening in the evening and early morning hours.
Thunder Bay Police Service Const. Julie Tilbury said with these types of issues police cannot be everywhere all the time.
"We put our resources in place where we believe they are going to be most beneficial to the community," she said.
The beat officer program was implemented during daytime hours after consultations with the various BIAs and businesses throughout the city.
"They felt at that time having police officers highly visible during the times when most of their businesses are open is what works best for them," Tilbury said.
Police have also seen a slight spike in commercial break-ins over the last couple of weeks not just in the south side but across the entire city.
"It's something we're looking into and trying to determine if there is linkages as well as how to proceed with these investigations," said Tilbury.
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