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Vernon  

Owner won't give up

Nicolas Kynigos admits it is disheartening, but he is not giving up.

Kynigos operates Nicolas and Marie's Pizza in Justice Plaza with his wife and their establishment has been broken into or vandalized four times in less than a month.

The front of his quaint Vernon eatery is boarded up with the damage being done faster than Kynigos can repair it.

Kynigos said a neighbouring business got video of the culprit, so he knows who is doing the damage and he even offered the man a job after the third act of vandalism to help pay for the damage and to earn a little money himself, but on Wednesday it happened again.

“So I guess he doesn't want to do that,” said Kynigos who is maintaining an upbeat attitude despite the cost and stress of having his business targeted.

Kynigos declined to say who recorded the third break-in for fear of retribution on one of his neighbouring businesses.

Kynigos said his wife is wondering if the matter is personal and they are being singled out, but he said it is a symptom of a larger problem.

“It's not personal at all. It's not only me, it's all over downtown,” said Kynigos. “We all live here, we all live in this town and we have to do something. Are we going to be prisoners in our own businesses or afraid to walk downtown?”

Kynigos said the community has to get together and find a solution, but he admits there is no easy cure to the ails of Vernon.

For now, Kynigos said he will once again repair the damage done to his establishment – what other choice does he have.

While he does not want to put bars on the windows – which would be uninviting for customers – he is looking into putting roll shutters on the windows in an effort to stop the attacks.

Kynigos says he has no plans of closing the business he has worked so hard to establish.

“It's like a terrorist attack. I'm not going to give in to a terrorist attack,” he said. “Sure we feel terrorized in a way. I'm not the type to give up on helping or give up on my business. I won't pack up and run out of town. I grew up here, this is my hometown.”

He is thankful for all the support neighbouring businesses and the community has shown since the break-ins began.



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