CLEVELAND (WJW) – Longtime vendors are voicing their concerns after break-ins at West Side Market in Cleveland last month.
For Jason Scott, owning Greg’s Produce is tough but rewarding.
“This is my passion. My blood, sweat and tears for my customers,” said Scott.
Scott’s dedication was tested by the recent break-ins at the market.
“From the heart, I’m really disappointed in people that would come and take from a small business. We are already struggling,” said Scott.
Scott said he noticed the damage to his stand early Tuesday morning.
“I had seen everything in disarray. I took a video and sent it to the management and they said they would get back to me. They showed us this video and showed us what is going on,” said Scott.
Surveillance video showed two suspects break into the market after hours on Feb. 28. One of the suspects was also in a video from another break-in on Feb. 23.
“They came in with boxes and they just rambled through our whole stand and took strawberries and grapes,” said Scott
Scott said he never leaves money in his registers. Other vendors were not so lucky.
“They took someone’s coffee maker and a microwave. Why do you need coffee makers
and microwaves?” said Scott.
On top of that, some vendors say their future is uncertain thanks to the West Side Market transitioning to a new leadership.
Right now, it is owned by the city. However, soon it will be operated and maintained by a newly
established nonprofit organization.
In the meantime, vendors like Scott are left feeling helpless and frustrated over the lack of security for small business owners.
“When I came in to put my stuff in the cooler, I was making sure no one was in here because I was so scared,” said Scott.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Cleveland Division of Police Second District.