Middleton businesses vandalized

Heather Killen hkillen@annapolisspectator.ca
Published on August 25, 2014

At least four businesses were targeted sometime in the early hours of Aug. 25. Blue Griffin Books, Middletown Sweets, Sunlife Insurance and the Middleton pool were all hit with break and enters.

©Killen photo

Bakery, book store and insurance agent targeted with break and enters

Annapolis RCMP and members of the forensic investigation unit were canvassing Middleton businesses this morning, hoping to gather information to help solve four break and enters that took place overnight.

Corporal Scott MacMillan said that at least four businesses were targeted sometime in the early hours of Aug. 25. Blue Griffin Books, Middletown Sweets, Sunlife Insurance and the Middleton pool were all hit with break and enters.

“We’re gathering information now,” he said. “We’re hoping that someone will have video surveillance that could help us.”

While the extent of the damages and losses are still being determined the three business owners -  Erica Pretzlaw, Jonathan Archibald, and Brian Neville -  are trying to make sense of why they were targeted, as none keep large amounts of money onsite.

Pretzlaw, of Middletown Sweets, said that she knew something was wrong as soon as she opened her door at 5:45 a.m.The bakery was vandalized; food, pop and milk were dumped over the floor and windows, some of her equipment was overturned.

“The door was unlocked when I arrived and I could smell something,” she said, Monday. “I don’t know the extent of the losses, but we will lose business and whatever food we lost.”

Three employees will also lose several day’s pay, due to the business being forced to shut down for several days while she cleans up. Entry was gained through a window at the side of the business.

Archibald, owner of Blue Griffin Books, said he noticed something was wrong at the bakery when he was walking his dog at 8 a.m. A short time later police called to let him know that someone had also broken into his store, getting in through the air conditioning vent.

“I noticed something wrong at Erica’s, it was like someone egged the front window,” he said. “There were a couple of guys sitting on the bench in front of the store and they told me that she had been broken into. I didn’t think to check mine.”

Archibald said  his cash float is missing, along with money he was collecting for local authors such as Dave and Paulette Whitman, and charity money for CAPS.

“The area around the cash was trashed and they smashed the bottles that contained the money for the charities,” he said. He tallies his other main losses with having to close for half a day and whatever property damaged that was caused by the break and enter.

Neville’s office at Sunlife was also targeted, with the thieves kicking in the back door, despite it being barred shut. These offices were ransacked and small amounts of cash were taken.

“They made a mess,” he said. “It’s so senseless, I’m shocked it would happen to an insurance agent. Fortunately no personal records were taken, and no confidential files were compromised.”

Desk drawers had been opened the contents dumped on the floor, toothbrushes and toothpaste were dumped in the toilet. Neville had framed old currency as keepsakes and the thieves smashed the glass to take the old bills.  Three laptops were also taken, although Neville said he thinks these will be useless without the correct passwords.

Jodie Moase, of the Middleton Recreation Department, said the town pool was also targeted for the second time this summer. She doesn’t know the extent for the damage caused this time, but adds that the town staff don’t leave valuables there.