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Security glass 200x stronger than regular glass could prevent break-and-enter crimes

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In 2023 in Toronto there were 7,643 break-and-enter crimes and Toronto police say there was a 40 per cent increase in break-ins in early 2024.

For businesses and homeowners, a break-in means a mess to clean up, broken doors and windows to repair and possibile stolen items and higher insurance premiums.

One company, that’s been in business for almost 40 years selling security products, says break-ins are currently a huge problem for many businesses.

“I've never seen it this bad. Right now, crime is on the rise and it just keeps going up,” said Tom Reimer, with Metalex Security Products in Scarborough.

One of the most common type of break-and-enter crimes is the “smash and grab" when thieves break a window or door, grab what they can and leave in less than a minute.

Reimer said his company has been developing products that will prevent thieves from getting in, in the first place.

Reimer said his company makes various items including metal bulldog screens that can be used on windows to prevent children falling from out of apartment buildings or on doors to prevent criminals from getting in.

"Windows are vulnerable. Thieves can give a window a smash and then break-in and take whatever they want” said Reimer.

The company also sells a product called rock glass, which Reimer said is 200 times stronger than regular glass. You can hit it with a hammer, baseball bat or sledgehammer and it won’t break.

In a demonstration, the company invited CTV News Toronto to its business and allowed me to hit a metal bulldog screen, a window and a door made with rock glass using various items including a baseball bat and a sledge hammer and the screen and glass did not break.

Another problem area for business are robberies involving jewelry display cases as thieves will come into a business with hammers smash the glass and run out with watches, rings and other expensive items.

“They'll take two or three shots to the jewellery case, the glass breaks and they will reach in and grab what’s there and then off they go,” said Reimer.

Reimer said he built a jewellery case using rock glass to show it will not break even when struck several times with a sledgehammer.

“You can hit the display case as hard as you want and the glass will not break,” said Reimer.

Reimer said he is working with jewellery groups to get the message out that the new display cases could help prevent thefts.

Many of the security products can be used in residential or commercial applications and costs will vary. To outfit a commercial type front door with rock glass will cost about $1,500 according to Reimer.

Reimer said using unbreakable security products can protect businesses and homes and reduce costs related to theft including keeping insurance premiums lower.

Many thieves break-in to businesses to steal point of sale terminals and then issue themselves refunds of thousands of dollars. Another popular target for thieves is power tools, which once stolen are often sold on Facebook marketplace and Kijiji.

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