INDIANAPOLIS — An Irvington business owner has seen his two businesses robbed more than half a dozen times in the past few months. This time the crooks cut the power to one store, destroying his merchandise.
“It’s almost to the point that I forget how many times we have been robbed,” said Sami Ali, owner of Wyliepalooza Ice Cream and LVL UP Gaming Lounge. “It’s like I have to count on my hand how many times we have been robbed.”
Wyliepalooza Ice Cream and LVL UP Gaming Lounge are near each other on East Washington Street. The burglars first broke into the ice cream shop in November. At the onset, the thieves went for gaming computers and a safe during burglaries at either joint. Now they are taking anything they can get.
“They broke into my business on Christmas and stole shirts, just shirts,” said Ali in disbelief, adding that the damage costs are adding up. “They pick bad timings. The first of the month rent is due.”
As the burglaries continued, Ali added an alarm system and reinforced his back door. He says this week the crooks cut the power to kill the alarm. He believes they thought it would buy them more time to get past the door, but they didn’t get in. The lack of power melted the ice cream in the store. He gets it shipped in from Wisconsin.
“I can only order ice cream fifty tubs at a time, and they only do deliveries twice a month,” says Ali in frustration, “It’s like $4,000 worth of ice cream that I have to replace because the ice cream I have is now soft.”
He believes any Irvington business with a back door is at risk for a break-in from these suspects. Ali says the barbershop next door to the ice cream shop was also broken into in a similar fashion.
“You would think that if a certain area was getting robbed so many times that they would station some police or people there,” questioned Ali, adding that he would like to see a neighborhood watch formed to help curb the issues. “Someone is going to have to sleep in their business one day, and then they break in and they pop up to surprise them.”
The financial anguish from the loss has Ali contemplating closing his business for the winter until the busier summer months. It may be his last resort.