As if reliving a horrible nightmare, Jennivene Collie, proprietor of Cool Jenny’s located at the Farmer’s Market, Downtown was struck a hard blow on Thursday (June 13) morning, as her stall was broken into and ransacked again, just a week after the last break in.
When this daily arrived at the Market, shortly before 9:00 a.m. yesterday, police officials were on the scene conducting interviews with vendors.
An emotional Collie shared with The Freeport News what she encountered, when she arrived at work early Thursday, shortly before 8:00 a.m.
“When I came in this morning the first thing I noticed when I looked up was that the bars on my window were missing. When I looked down on the ground, I saw the chips from the door. When I walked in the back, I noticed the windows were broken into and that is when I called for the police officers to come and help me,” said Collie
“I usually feed school kids free breakfast every morning and when I came here this morning, I was so heartbroken when they came here and could not get anything to eat because they vandalized the place. Last week Thursday they did the same thing. I just went shopping yesterday and they came in and took everything out of the store,” added a sad Collie.
At the rear of her stall lies the remains of the old door, which she had to replace at the tune of $350.00 just last week when her stall was broken into.
Not fully aware of what was taken at the time of the interview, Collie did confirm that all of her drinks inclusive of ‘Kool- Aid’ and sugar, which she uses to make the children’s favourite cold cups were missing.
“I just put the drinks in here yesterday, because we have a cruise ship coming in today. I just replenished the Gatorade and everything else. Everything is gone. The same thing they did last week is the same pattern that was used again,” she maintained.
Collie has owned her stall since 2006 and stated that she has been broken into a number of times over the years.
While three booths were broken into Thursday morning, Collie’s appeared to be the only one from which items were stolen, while the other two only appeared to be vandalized.
Another vendor whose shop was vandalized shared that she would like to have access to her shop space, by way of a one-way road through the market.
She maintained her shop was never broken into prior to the renovations of the market, when the road access was closed off to motoring traffic. She is of the view that due to that, there is no access for the police to patrol the area through the night.
Another vendor, Nancy Dean, who was not affected by the break in, did share her pain in seeing her friend and colleague negatively impacted by the crime, yet again.
“All of us have been affected by this because our hearts and our passion go out to our colleague, because she feeds little children. This morning when I arrived, I saw some little children come by for food. When they heard that her shop was broken into, you could see in one of the little boys’ face, disappointment and hurt. He said, ‘again.’
“That really hurt me this morning because she does not have to do it, but it is her passion. It seems like these children that come to her, looking for breakfast, come from a home that really do not have it.
“This has happened back-to-back, something needs to be done. All of us are crying with one voice today. We need to have something done,” stated Dean.
“We have been dealing with this for years. It has calmed down somewhat and we were a little relieved.
“It is hard, we are hustling, scrapping, putting your money in there, hoping that you sell something every day, to make a turnover to pay utilities and other bills, just to have it taken from you.
“The way in which her (Collie) building was vandalized, it seems like it occurred early morning or late night, where they have a lot of time to do the damage. Our concern, most of all, is that we need night security or guard dogs,” maintained Dean.
“Something has to be done and we are crying out for help,” Dean adding appealing for assistance from the powers that be.
“Even though we are renting … that part is not even fair to us, because if they get in our windows and we report it, yes they promise to fix and repair but the procedure is so long. When we leave here we have to know with full assurance that our place is secured. We are not guaranteed that … we have to find money, by hook or by crook, to repair it ourselves and we receive no reimbursement or no reduction in rent.
“We need all of these things addressed. We are at the place, now, where we are frustrated and we want answers.
“We are ready to fight. We have to grab the bull by the horns this morning, because this is too long; year in and year out, the same thing over-and-over. That is not fair to the poor people,” stated Dean.
This daily contacted Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard for comments regarding the cries of the vendors following the latest unfortunate incident. As he is in the middle of Budget Debate proceedings, Pintard said that he had no comment on the matter at the time; however, he would review the report as soon as possible.