Break-ins frustrate street vendors

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Street vendor Shemeka Hughes said she is feeling discouraged and disheartened after suffering the third break-in at her Mary E Pigott Road business in just one week.
Yesterday, Hughes returned to the booth, located outside the fence of the government school, just before 7 a.m. and met the door that she locked and secured on Friday afternoon, removed from its hinges and tossed aside. 
Hughes said this time the perpetrators made off with her 20-pound cooking gas cylinder and some beverages that were inside a cooler.
“They are terrorizing me. I just felt like giving up and go home. They came in last week Monday and Tuesday and now today [Monday] I came back they took off the whole door. The first two times I had my cooler filled and they took everything out and now they took the gas tank and the three malts I had in the cooler,” Hughes added.
The vendor who has been operating the stall for three years said she caters to the needs of the students and staff of the three schools on the adjoining compound.
Hughes told OBSERVER media that the business is her main income and the repeated break-ins have left her questioning if she should just close up shop.
“It is really stressful. It really stress me, you know. I try to go out and look a job from the government and all they do is bluff you and then you try to create a job for yourself and yet every time you come they take something. Down to the mop bucket they took the last time. They threw a big stone and damaged the booth the last time,” she added.
Police confirmed that the vendor reported the matter, but, when this reporter spoke with Hughes more than three hours later lawmen had not visited the scene.
De-Ann Nicholas, a neighbouring street vendor, was not spared in this recent break-in. Her food stall was also broken into and her garbage was strewn about and her supplies stolen.
“My chopper gone, two spoons, my food box, paper towels, curry powder, and even the salt gone. I feel bad, the business just start. I started on September 3. I quit my job for this because I do security work and I couldn’t manage the nights,” Nicholas said.
Both businesses which are located in close proximity to each other were reportedly locked and secured on Friday after 3 p.m. and the break-ins were only discovered yesterday morning.
Security personnel are stationed at the nearby government primary and secondary schools during the day and on the weekend. 

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