There are more victims than we think

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Over the course of the last few months, several stories of Pontiac residents and businesses losing their belongings to robbery have crossed my desk. The robberies have included everything from woodworking tools, welders, and mechanical tools to gas from   peoples’ parked vehicles (page 8) and food from local food banks.

Over the course of the last few months, several stories of Pontiac residents and businesses losing their belongings to robbery have crossed my desk. The robberies have included everything from woodworking tools, welders, and mechanical tools to gas from   peoples’ parked vehicles (page 8) and food from local food banks.
There are a variety of reasons why someone would steal the property of another person. One reason would be a lack of    opportunities to acquire the stolen material by legitimate means – by working and paying for it. With a high unemployment rate, this may be one of the driving forces behind the recent thefts in the Pontiac.
Although the materials or the money acquired by selling the items may temporarily allow the person to make ends meet, isn’t the continuation and proliferation of theft in the Pontiac bound to make the situation in the area even worse?
In the Pontiac, surviving as a business and in general is very  difficult for many in the best of times. Losing one’s belongings makes the bad become worse. After losing the materials, individuals or businesses can either replace what was stolen, if they have the means to do so, or they can decide not to replace them.
Either way, a small community like our own will suffer. Businesses may close their doors because they do not have the means to replace much-needed equipment, individuals may not be able to reinvest in the community in other areas because of    the financial strain of replacing the items, or    businesses may be forced to cut jobs because of the price of replacing what was taken.
One victim had between $10,000 to $15,000 worth of their woodworking tools stolen, and others lost their mechanical or faming equipment. Is there not the possibility that these operations could have proven fruitful for the Pontiac in the future – either by creating jobs or by generating profits that could be reinvested in the area? Theft limits  opportunities, burdening us all. 
And what message are we sending to potential investors and tourists? Who would want to develop a business in this area if they risk having their investment either vandalised or stolen? And what tourist would be willing to come explore the resources we pride ourselves on if they risk having their vehicles and property damaged if they leave them unattended?    
Theft, in simple terms, is defined as getting something for nothing. However, in small       communities like the Pontiac, the entire community pays the price, including those doing the stealing. Things aren’t always as they seem!
Allyson Beauregard, Editor