The owners of Once Upon a Child near on Ellice Avenue near Empress Street say they are disheartened and frustrated by the number of thefts at their store.

Since the used children's clothing store opened in the summer, owner Dave Dunlop his store has been hit with multiple brazen thefts.


Dave Dunlop, owner of Once Upon a Child on Ellice Avenue, says he is frustrated and disheartened by the number of break ins the family-run business has had since it opened in July. (CBC)

"We opened in July and we've already been on the news three times because of different incidents of stealing. It's very unfortunate for our family-run business," said Dunlop.

The latest theft occurred in the early hours of Friday morning when security cameras caught a person breaking the store's glass front doors, crawling around the floor to avoid triggering an alarm system, and opening cash registers.

The thief only ended up stealing petty cash and did not take any of the items for sale in the store, said Dunlop. Earlier this year, two strollers were taken, each worth hundreds of dollars along with some jerseys.

He estimates repairing the registers will cost between $2,000 and $3,000 and the windows will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 to replace.

Sixteen security cameras in the store and an alarm system seemed to do nothing to deter Friday's incident, said Dunlop.

"We got a phone call from the alarm company this morning that there had been a breach of the security system," said Dunlop.

"We do have a fairly extensive alarm system in here. Unfortunately, it let us down last night."

Dunlop said his alarm system was supposed to detect broken glass but for some reason did not go off until the thief exited the store through the back door. He plans to install a more sensitive system soon.

Once Up in a Child

Dunlop says the media has covered break ins at his store three times since the business opened in July. (CBC)

In the meantime, Dunlop hopes his video evidence will help police track down the person who broke into his store.

"We caught the whole entire incident from start to finish," he said. "We have the person's face on camera."

Dunlop said he and his wife never expected to be the target of constant theft when they opened their business.

"It's not until you're exposed to it, on the other end, that you see how bad it is in this part of the city," he said.

"It's very hard on the family."

Along with beefing up security, Dunlop said he is speaking with other businesses in the area and community members to try and "fight back against the crime" in the area.

With files from Courtney Rutherford