VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A West End business owner is debating her future as an entrepreneur after she says her café was broken into for the third time in a year.
The front window of Cardero Café on Davie Street in Vancouver was smashed on July 5, with some cash and merchandise stolen.
Owner Sonia Zebadua says her eatery only opened in July 2020. Now, after yet another break-in, she fears for the safety of her employees, all of whom are women.
“I think it’s increasing a lot lately,” Zebadua, who is originally from Mexico, said of crime in the area. “I’ve been in the neighbourhood for 10 years and it wasn’t like that — it was nothing like that.”
“I don’t want to feel like I was feeling back home. That’s the reason I left my hometown. It was that insecurity,” she added.
But safety isn’t the only concern. Zebadua notes the break-ins have financial repercussions, estimating the three incidents have cost her between $10,000 and $12,000.
“I’m demotivated, because now you have to do all the process for the insurance again and see if it’s even worth it, because the claim is $1,000. I wouldn’t even recommend to anybody to put a business here,” she told NEWS 1130.
The most recent break-in now has Zebadua and her partner reconsidering everything, with talks of selling the business now on the table.
Vancouver police confirm they’ve responded to this business three times since November.
VPD Sgt. Steve Addison tells NEWS 1130 officers have been in touch with Cardero Cafe’s owners.
“It’s concerning for us,” he said. “When you’re a small business owner, and you’re trying to make a go of it, and it’s already been a rough couple of years, the last thing you need is to show up to your business in the morning and realize that somebody’s broken in and stolen stuff. Or, worse still, get called in the middle of the night because somebody’s broken a window and has made off with valuable stuff.”
Addison says a suspect was arrested in connection with the latest break-in.
On Zebadua’s claims that there seems to be a rise in crime around the West End, Addison says “it continue to be a challenge and a frustration for both police and businesses throughout the downtown core.”
“They’re in a similar situation to a lot of businesses in the downtown core. They’ve come through this pandemic … and dealt with all of the challenges of closures and reduced capacity, and now, a lot of businesses are facing challenges with things like property crime,” he said, adding the VPD is working with businesses to identify things they can do to “reduce the likelihood of being targeted.”