Breaking and entering could force local businesses to close

Headspace Artefacts’ Joy Larstone says the suspects broke a window and stole several valuable glassware items. While the loss of merchandise is bad enough, Larstone says the biggest issue is replacing the glass, a minimum cost of $3,000.

In a social media post this week, Larstone said the store had already tried hard to stay open, “but with this pause, this could be our downfall and the final nail in our coffin,” she said. writing.

“There are quite a few things that are bringing the headshop industry down – COVID has affected us a bit, but it’s not the main cause of the downfall,” Larstone said.

Changing government regulations on vapes and the legalization of cannabis have also slowed demand for items previously only found in headshops, she said.

But Larstone says it’s not just the latest burglary that’s jeopardizing the future of his shop; construction along 100 The street slowed traffic to the store, making the neighborhood feel unsafe for many business owners along the corridor.

Across the street, Bill’s Fire and Water also suffered a glass breakage, but nothing was stolen, the owner confirmed.

“We’ve been here for 10 years, and it happens from time to time. This time it affects the business much more – we were already on the brink,” Larstone said. “Prices of everything have gone up dramatically, glass has gone up so much since the last time we had a burglary.”

“It’s going to cost a lot more than three thousand dollars – that’s just the price if I want to order a window pane,” she added.

Larstone said they would turn over security footage to the RCMP to help the investigation, and suspects it was youths who broke into his store.

Fort St. John RCMP said the investigation into the break-in is continuing and forensic work is already underway.

Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative.

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