“It’s hard not to take it personally,” said Head, owner of the Bluenose Mercantile pawnshop on Stewiacke’s Main Street.
She and Cormier share space in a small shop where he operates Kasey’s Barbershop, two businesses the pair established eight months ago.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, someone smashed the door leading into the pawnshop, grabbed 90 costume rings and also made off with Cormier’s cash register and a “substantial” amount of cash it contained.
The first theft two weeks ago occurred after someone broke through a side window of the pawn shop and made off with Head’s cash register that also contained a “substantial” amount of money.
Neither Cormier nor Head are willing to say just how much cash was taken because of the ongoing police investigation.
“We’re at a loss. We don’t know how to recover from this,” Cormier said. “We don’t have a cash register. We don’t have a float.”
And with six children to feed, Cormier said the monetary loss is especially hard to take after using most of his savings to get his business up and running.
“This is the first time in eight months that I was going to be able to take something to my family and it’s gone,” he said.
Even after the first theft, Cormier felt the money would be safe inside his cash register, because it was locked and secured to the counter.
“It’s the second time in two weeks and now I literally have no money to bring home to my family,” he said. “I’m a grown man and I’m sick to my stomach with stress and worry.”
Cormier grew up in Stewiacke and after cutting hair in Halifax for the past 20 years, he decided to set up shop in his hometown after learning there was no other barbershop in the immediate area.
Head, who grew up in Shubenacadie, said she decided to return home after many years of living away to open a pawnshop as a means of also providing a service the community was lacking.
Both said they have been welcomed with open arms and their combined shop has become a popular gathering spot for people to stop by and share stories.
“The town has been amazingly supportive,” Head said.
Now, however, the pair say they are no longer sure whom they can trust.
“That’s why it’s a shock to everyone, wondering why anyone would do this to you,” Cormier said. “I love the area and I feel almost betrayed.”
“We have a very comfortable vibe (with the community) and this impedes on our vibe terribly,” she said. “It’s just hard on a person’s heart.”
The pair said they have also lost trust in their alarm system, which failed in both instances to alert the security company that a break-in was underway.
They also wonder if the two burglaries are related, given that a hammer was left behind at the scene in both cases.
RCMP Cpl. Neil Wentzell also couldn’t comment on whether the two break-ins may be related, especially given that the investigation is still in progress.
But when questioned about any similar occurrences in the area, Wentzell said a hammer was also used at a break-in at the convenience store in Valley overnight on June 23.
“It’s possible,” he said, of the potential connection.