By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 5, 2024.
Crime doesn’t pay – unless perhaps you’re a business or home owner who has to address concerns.
Security concerns – be it vandalism or break-ins – exist among businesses and homeowners alike.
There has been a noticeable increase in the city in the demand for roll shutters, according to owner and president of Peka Rollshutters Ltd. Chris Mueller.
“We’ve been doing roll shutters here since 1981. We’ve been doing roll shutters for businesses here in Lethbridge for 40 years now. There has always been a need for roll shutters from certain businesses, for security requirements or to deter break-ins. I would say the one thing that we have noticed an increase in is clients that are looking for roll shutters to protect exterior areas,” said Mueller.
Mueller said he feels people have become more security conscious.
“We’ve always had this consistent clientele of homeowners looking for roll shutters for security and I think just by nature, some people are more security conscious.
“I’ve had clients tell me different things. I’ve had clients tell me that they’ve moved to particular parts of town, in the hopes that they’re moving to a safer neighbourhood.”
Mueller voiced his company is getting more business from residential homeowners looking for roll shutters that block out light, keep in heat, protect against cold, and provide noise reduction.
Business owners have different concerns when purchasing them.
“The people that come to us for roll shutters come to us with a variety of concerns. Some clients come to us looking for vandalism protection – that is a very specific type of crime. That type of criminal is not going to be the same person that is going to walk down two blocks down the street and break into a business to steal high value items, and then walk the other way down the street and throw a rock through a window, so they can steal some food out of the out of a third business,” he said.
Mueller said roll shutters are also used to protect against storms such as hail, winds, and blizzards.
His firm often gives discounts to small businesses that are struggling with break-ins or vandalism.
“We often discount a lot of our jobs that we do for businesses, because as another small business owner, we know that you cannot just drop a large amount of money to replace your damaged broken windows, to now, purchase roll shutters.
“That’s a lot for a lot for small businesses to take on.. . but I also have some clients that are dealing with very targeted break-ins,” said Mueller.
He said he has noticed break-ins have slowed down a little bit in Lethbridge but crime is still a concern.
“This has dropped down a little bit, but I think it’s still an issue. We have clients that are experiencing break-ins, and the break-in is not vandalism. It’s not a high value break-in, it’s breaking in to steal some food or something to drink – almost like a smash-and-grab but almost like a petty smash-and-grab. And for business owners these can be very troubling,” shared Mueller.