SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - One of Springfield's small business owners is thinking about closing his doors after multiple break-in's.
Luis Lopez owns a videogame store in Springfield's Forest Park neighborhood and he's been robbed 4 times in the past two months. He's spent about $2,000 repairing the damage, and now he's thinking about finding someplace else to run his business.
Videogame Giants is located at the corner of Oakland and Belmont in Springfield. It's near the Forest Park Middle School.
At 4:30 Wednesday morning it was the site of a smash and grab robbery. The break-in suspect used a brick to smash the glass and then made his way through the gap in these bars to get into the store.
Once inside, the alarms instantly started going off and he had just minutes before the police arrived. The whole incident was caught on store surveillance video.
Springfield Police Lt. Henry Gagnon told 22News their reviewing that video, but the owner's signs, alarm system, and cameras haven't been enough to stop the thieves, who left the videogames and only smashed a coin machine to steal about $100.
"There's plenty of other things you can do. Collect cans, beg for money. panhandle. It's really bad because I'm trying to open a small business, run it and make the neighborhood better and things like this make me want to close down," said Lopez, the owner.
22News talked to other small business owners on the block. They didn't want to go on camera, but told 22News they've also been broken into.
"If people are terrified to live in their own neighborhood, it's horrible. And I think it has a lot to do with drugs and technology and the way the world is becoming now, everyone is poor. There's no jobs out there, no money so people have to do what they have to do," said Dana Osowski of Springfield.
According to the Federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 11.8% of Springfield residents don't have a job. Much higher that the 7.2% state unemployment rate.
Jamie Cruz told 22News he moved out of Springfield, and now lives in Westfield. "With no jobs and stuff like that. And just the drugs and stuff like that, I decided to move out."
Lopez told 22News he used to own a store in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, and never had a problem.
In July of this year, Mayor Domenic Sarno sent a letter to the state police police, asking them for help patrolling these high-crime neighborhoods.
The city also has their "BADGE" unit. A group of officers who's job is to patrol the Forest Park section of the city.