Ottawa Street business recovering after robbery

Photo courtesy of Walkerville Optical Facebook

A local small business owner is putting together the pieces after his store got hit by an early morning robbery.

Mark Trudell, the owner of Walkerville Optical, said his store was broken into on Monday around 4:30 a.m. He got woken up by a phone call from his security company and immediately knew what was wrong.

“I let out a big sigh because I knew exactly what it was. I was wondering the kind of damage that I’m going to find when I get to the store, what’s going to be gone, and obviously what it’s going to cost me,” said Trudell

Walkerville Optical is located at 1474 Ottawa Street. They describe themselves as an optical boutique that “offers a wide range of unique frames at various price points from independent eyewear companies.”

According to Trudell, the suspect entered the store by smashing through the front door glass. The assailant was only in the store for less than two minutes, but Trudell said they were able to get away with a substantial amount of eyewear, many of them irreplaceable.

“This kind of stuff they don’t mass produce. They took a display that was handmade from record albums, I won’t likely be able to get that again. I had frames made from the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the company that made them isn’t allowed to manufacture them anymore. These are all limited pieces,” Trudell said.

For a small business like Walkerville Optical, insurance coverage isn’t enough to make up from all the setbacks that can stem from an incident like this.

“It’s really the time I’m going to put in to recover from this. I still have to run my day to day operations and give the same service and care to my patients that I always have. Now I have to go through, figure out what’s missing and produce invoices for the insurance company,” said Trudell.

The investigation is still ongoing and police haven’t released any details. However, Trudell believes due to the nature of the crime, that he was targeted.

“They went specifically for some of my most unique collections. I think this is more organized crime.” said Trudell “They must have been in my store before, they must have scouted it out, they knew what I had and they knew what they wanted.”

Walkerville Optical has been in business for three years. The boutique was robbed at knifepoint in April 2018. Trudell took to his Facebook to post details on the most recent robbery and said it’s fantastic to see all the messages of support he has gotten.

Despite two robberies in less than a year, Trudell made it clear that he’s still passionate about his business and even more passionate about the area his business is located in.

“I love this neighbourhood,” said Trudell. “This doesn’t change how I feel about this neighbourhood, I love uptown Ottawa street, I have no plans to move anywhere else. This isn’t reflective of the state of our city. If anything’s a reflection of our city, it’s the outpouring of support when things like this happen.”

Trudell said he is optimistic that once the dust settles, his store will be back better than ever.