North Bay garage owner considers closing up shop after rash of thefts

The owner of a North Bay garage is almost ready to close his business after another break-in and theft at the shop.

The latest happened in the early morning Thursday when thieves got away with tools and computer equipment from North Bay Auto Service.

"I came into the shop and noticed the radio was turned off," said Dave Battistoni, as he worked on repairing a vehicle."I thought that was weird because the radio is on 24/7 and then right then and there I knew they were in here again."

Thieves broke a window around 2 a.m., climbed inside, stealing laptops and power tools. A 2006 silver Acura was taken off the property but has since been found.

North Bay Police are looking for three suspects.

Suspect one is a man with a medium build wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans, and a blue toque with a white stripe. Suspect two was wearing all black with fur on the hood of a winter jacket. The third suspect was wearing a black jacket with fur on the hood and grey jogging pants.

"We're doing forensic analysis on the vehicle that was recovered and we're still seeking suspects for the three individuals," said North Bay Police Const. John Schultz.

Feeling disheartened

Battistoni, who has operated the business for 16 years, said he feels disheartened that crime is ramping up in his area.

"They've taken tools from outside, car parts," he said. "With the gas tanks, they'll drill holes and take the gas."

The shop was last broken into in August. Battistoni said he is out at least $20,000 in lost equipment and he also installed a new security system. He's even caught thieves in the act in broad daylight in the past.

"A gentleman tried to break into the car outside beside me," he said. "I yelled at him and he's like 'Oh sorry. I didn't know it was your car.' It doesn't matter if it's my car or not. It's not yours."

Police recommend all businesses and homeowners have an adequate security camera system that can record in HD and in colour to assist investigations.

"It helps us identify suspects and that is tremendous evidence in a court proceeding," said Schultz.

For Battistoni, he's ready to call it quits and retire if he is the victim of one more crime.

"I'm trying to stay strong, but if it happens again, I'm done," he said.

Anyone with any information about the suspects is encouraged to contact North Bay Police or Crime Stoppers.