Mid-City #small businesses #boost #security after recent #break-ins

Owners say operating a small business is tough enough without the added costs of crime. Yet, some businesses in Mid City say they’re forced to fork over cash for extra security after a recent rash of vandalism.

“You can see where they broke it,” said Gary Lemoine, owner of Lemoine’s Truck Rental on South Jefferson.

There’s still glass on the ground in front of Lemoine’s business.

“The glass was not. It wasn’t eight hours old,” he said.

Lemoine says it had just been replaced when someone smashed it a second time.

“It was a chunk of cement,” said Lemoine. “Like somebody’s driveway.”

He’s been in business 26 years, but Lemoine says he’s never needed extra security until now.

“It’s happening more frequently,” said Lemoine.

Aside from his storefront, Lemoine says vandals also hit his rental trucks parked across the street.

“Twice we’ve had to replace windows in the last two weeks,” he said.

Now, Lemoine’s worried about what will happen next.

“At night, you’re wondering the next day, what you’re going to find. If you’re going to find your business broken into, if you’re going to find the trucks that you make your living from, if you’re going to find some of the trucks vandalized. It’s just, it’s stressful,” Lemoine explained.

Just a stone’s throw from Lemoine’s shop, the folks at Markel Lumber feel it, too.

“Came in through a gate in the warehouse and broke into the office from there,” said Gabriel Markel.

Markel says burglars broke in two weeks ago using bolt cutters to get through the gate.

“They were only in for about a minute,” Markel said.

Yet, he says it was long enough for them to make off with items from their office without getting caught.

“You hate to keep ratcheting up security,” said Markel.

But these small businesses say, with a rise in crime, they’re left with little choice.

“It’s a nice chunk of change because it is a small business. Every small businessman knows there’s not a whole lot of extra money to provide for this kind of stuff,” explained Lemoine.

Both businesses say they filed police reports. Lemoine says officers agreed to keep a closer eye on his shop at night.

FOX 8 contacted NOPD about the incidents but did not hear back.

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