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Toronto business owner worried about insurance claims after series of break-ins

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A North York business owner says she's constantly worried her business will be broken into after experiencing a series of break-ins within the last year.

"Since 2023, and I've been reading my proof of loss records, there has been seven or eight break-ins destroying the walls the windows and the doors," said Karen Weidenfelder, the owner of Pipe Tools Supply Limited.

The business is 106 years old and has been run by Weidenfelder for the past 50 years after taking over from her father.

Weidenfelder contacted CTV News after seeing a story about Toronto police's summit held at city hall earlier this month, as police are seeing a 40 per cent increase in break-ins in the city in the past six months.

At the summit, several business owners shared how they're having trouble getting insurance after being broken into or expressed how they're afraid to make any claims as their premiums will go up.

Weidenfelder thought that after more than a century in operation, her business might have to close as she was denied insurance for having too many break-and-enter claims.

"They cancelled me in January or December, and I panicked. They declined the insurance, and I thought I was done," said Weidenfelder.

She says she often won't make a claim since her deductible is so high, and she feels it's not worth it.

While her daughter Candice wants to continue with the family business, Weidenfelder sometimes feels it is becoming too much work.

"You just get so turned off, and you wonder is it worth it or should you just liquidate and get out," said Weidenfelder.

After searching for almost two months and making security upgrades, Weidenfelder was able to get insurance, but she hopes she will never have to make a claim again.

She said she wanted to come forward to let people know that businesses are facing hardship due to multiple break-ins and that the justice system should take break-and-enters more seriously.

For now, she plans to press on and keep the family business going.

"Your best bet is to bolt down the best you can, with new sirens, lighting and all the best security stuff and hopefully they don't get in," said Weidenfelder.

Toronto police statistics show that in 2023, there were 7,643 break-ins, 3,090 of which were commercial, 3,911 residential, and 642 deemed as other.  

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