Cleveland bike shop owners live in fear after repeated robberies,vandalism

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CLEVELAND - The owners of Fleet Bike Shop said they're living in fear after a series of thefts and harassment, and said they are frustrated nothing is being done to stop it.

The business has been a fixture of Slavic Village for 45 years, but Al and Marty Zaleski said they’re now on the verge of shutting down.

“We can only do so much before we're forced to close,” Marty Zaleski said.

She said the shop has been terrorized all summer, starting June 1st when thieves broke in and stole a dozen bikes under repair, worth thousands of dollars.

“They cleaned us out. All of our customer repairs were stolen, a lot of our own personal valuable property. Antique bikes,” Zaleski said.

She said potential suspects were caught on surveillance camera at a nearby church, but detectives never followed up, and the video has since been recorded over.

“I understand they're busy because there's a lot of crime out there, but I think these kids keep targeting us and keep coming back because nothing is happening,” Zaleski said.

Since then, she said someone has spray painted an obscenity on the side of the building. On September 3rd, two more bikes were stolen from a fenced-in area and over the last weekend, someone threw a rock through an upstairs windows where the Zaleskis live with their four granddaughters, she said.

“It's only a few of these thugs that are running the whole neighborhood,” Al Zaleski said.

The Zaleskis said they’re now arming themselves, keeping watch at night, and planning to buy security cameras.

“The only reason we're still here is because we love this community,” Marty Zaleski said. “We're afraid for our lives at this point, because they're getting so brave. They're right in our face calling us names.”

Struggling to make up lost revenue from the thefts, they’re calling on the community to keep an eye out for each other.

“Everybody just has to stick together,” Al Zaleski said.

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