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Businesswoman says break-in was ‘inevitable’

The owners of a small bakery and convenience store in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will invest more money into security, after their business was broken into Sunday night.

At 10: 50 p.m., Judy Voisey and husband, Mark — owners and operators of Voisey’s Bakery and Convenience — received a call from the security company, informing them one of the store’s security sensors had been tripped.

“We did a ride around the building and could visibly see that there was no one around the building at all,” Judy recalled.

But during their circuit, Judy noticed a grate covering an old, covered-up doorway had been opened.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that whoever had broken into her store cut a hole in the wall where the doorway once stood, and gained access inside.

“So what they had done, they had beaten their way in there … they then proceeded to cut a one-foot wide by two-foot high hole into our bakery wall,” Judy said.

After reviewing the surveillance footage, Judy and Mark discovered a man, who she describes as being small and slim, quickly entered the main shop area, and stole a flat of two-dozen beer. Nothing else besides the beer was taken.

Judy was dismayed someone would risk possible jail time just to get his hands on some booze.

“It’s so sad when you look at it,” she said.

Despite the intrusion on her business, Judy calmly went about her day, cleaning up the mess from the break-in, covering the hole in the wall and getting ready for the day’s customers.

Judy, whose store has been open less than a year, knew a break-in would happen at some point. Happy Valley-Goose Bay and central Labrador, after all, has a history of convenience store break-ins.

“As a business owner, I’m certainly not stupid. I know that these things are going to happen,” Judy said. “But it’s just such a sad reality of the times that we’re facing here.

“The good thing about it is, thankfully, we invested in top-notch security here. All of our staff; no one works late in the night, no one closes alone.”

Judy is grateful there hasn’t been an armed robbery at her business, which could easily be a traumatic experience for her and her staff. But she fears an armed robbery is bound to happen at some point as well.

“Crime is everywhere, whether it’s here in Goose Bay, or Newfoundland, or Ontario,” Judy said. “It’s just part of the industry that we’re in.

“To be honest, I rather that this happen, rather than an armed robbery. And that’s something I know is probably inevitable, too.”

The Voiseys now plan to increase the number of night vision security cameras they have at the bakery from 16 to 24. They will also look at how much it will cost to erect a fence around the property.

“I have to protect my interests. This is a building I owe a mortgage on,” explained Judy. “What if they came in here, sat out there and caused a fire? There’s a lot of different ways this could have gone.”

Judy used to work many late nights by herself, along with some early mornings, preparing for the coming business hours. She said that won’t happen anymore.

“There will not be any staff here ever alone, including me,” she said.

“Safety of the staff has always been my primary concern. And we’re just going to strengthen those rules and policies.”

The Voiseys have passed the surveillance footage of the break-in to the RCMP. Judy also plans to share the video on Facebook, hoping someone might recognize the person.

Cpl. Rick Mills of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP detachment confirmed officers have the surveillance footage, but have not been able to identify the individual at this time.



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