ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Two “sticker shops” were targeted in downtown Elmira in one week. The latest break-in happened just before 3 a.m. Wednesday at 420 Novelties near the corner of West Water Street and North Main Street. 18 News reporter Nicolas Dubina learned three masked suspects smashed through the front door with a brick. The owner of 420 Novelties says they didn’t get away with much because the money and marijuana were locked in safes. Security cameras were rolling inside the store. The owner says this is the second break-in at this location this year. He says other businesses on West Water Street also had recent break-ins.
Right across the street, a manager at TATVibe Tattoos says two masked suspects tried to break in around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. Security video shows one of them repeatedly trying to smash the door’s glass with a hammer. The glass did not break and the suspects took off. The manager says the store has been targeted at least three times.
World Piece is a sticker shop and gift store next door to TATVibe. An employee told 18 News there have been no recent break-ins, but the store has been targeted twice within the past year.
On the same block Wednesday, business owners had gathered at WMC North Restaurant & Jazz Club to discuss how to improve Downtown Elmira. Business break-ins were among the top concerns. Mayor Dan Mandell was at the meeting. The Mayor said he will speak with Police Chief Kristen Thorne to discuss if additional patrols are needed in the downtown area.
“I’m going to check with the Chief to make sure, and I’m sure we are, but if we have to do extra patrols, now that the weather is getting nicer, to help have a presence down here, to help prevent burglaries and other crimes and vandalism,” said Mandell.
“Is the city experiencing an uptick in break-ins? Or is that something that we need to look into with the Chief?” asked Dubina.
“Today there was a couple, that happened this week. During this time of year you may see that happen. But overall, not really. This is the first I’m hearing of it. But we’d like to do our due diligence and be proactive to prevent this type of activity in our downtown and throughout our city.”
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