Beezy’s broken into and robbed for a second time

Our friend Bee had her restaurant, Beezy’s, broken into again. Last night, someone ransacked the place, stealing the safe, and some other items. The good news is, it looks like the police already have an idea as to who did it. According to Bee, warrants for suspects have been issued, and some of the stolen goods have already been retrieved. Unfortunately, though, the cash that was taken will probably never be seen again.

There have apparently been a string of robberies downtown lately. When asked about it, Bee said that at least three other places had been hit, with Beezy’s and one of the others now having been broken into twice. Hopefully, for the sake of our downtown, it was the same individuals involved in each of these robberies, and, now that they’ve been identified, they’ll be taken off the street and dealt with. Regardless, I think think this is a good reminder for us all to remain vigilant. Now, with more people living along the downtown corridor than in recent memory, thanks the rehabilitated lofts along Michigan Avenue, one would hope that incidents such as this would be decreasing. Unfortunately, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. (And I say “seem” because I haven’t looked at the recent statistics, which could, admittedly, indicate that crime is falling. With that said, though, I cannot remember another period in which we had five break-ins at downtown businesses. If someone would like to analyze the data and leave a comment, I’d appreciate it… Cue Murph and the factcheck squad.)

So, what can be done about it? Bee and her friends are currently brainstorming online. People are talking about everything from guard dogs to metal, roll-down gates, like those that you see in larger cities. I don’t realistically know what can be done, though. With the number of desperate people on the rise, and fewer cops on the street, it seems inevitable that things like this will happen. If you have ideas, though, I’d love to hear them.

As an aside… I wasn’t intending for this to be a post about the city income tax, which is invariably going to be on a ballot before us sometime in the coming year, but I think that this might be a good time to broach the subject. I’m curious to know whether you think that, for a City of our size, we presently have an adequate number of police on the street, and, if not, whether you’d be willing pay more in taxes to see those levels increased.

One last thing about Beezy’s… If anybody out there is planning to get their friends or loved ones a gift card from Beezy’s for the holidays, now would be a great time to do so, as the additional funds would help them cash flow-wise as they wait for insurance claims to be accepted, etc. Also, I’m told that, if you buy Beezy’s gift cards in bulk, you’ll be rewarded with a free gift card of your own, in the amount of 10% of your total gift card purchase. And what could be better than that?

[note: This was shared with Bee’s permission. Furthermore, I think it needs to be noted that these late night property crimes, while bad, are certainly no reason for people to avoid downtown, where, on the whole, very good things are happening.]

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67 Comments

  1. Josh
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    dos hermanos has pegboard instead of glass in their door as of this morning.

  2. Edward
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Wealthier neighborhoods will pay for their own private security services. The rest of us will be forced to do “more with less.”

    The alternative (having the wealthy pay more) is just too awful to comprehend.

    What we need is a graduated state income tax in Michigan, with revenues going to municipalities.

  3. Ben
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    My honest opinion from thinking about urban planning / civic life issues like this for a while is that it’s not JUST about people LIVING downtown. It’s people living, working, shopping, all those things, downtown. As far as we know, many people living downtown just like living there but are gone most of the day, driving to work, or don’t do shopping for essentials (and non essentials) downtown.

    That said, I don’t really have a solution, but I get the idea that when people are doing everything downtown it’s different. Though I know bad stuff like this happens in downtown Ann Arbor too, even though people live, work, and shop downtown. ::sigh::

  4. j
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Clearly the solution is for Beezy’s to stay open 24/7.

    I think we have enough police, but I live on a major intersection so I see them all the time. Ypsi is so small response times have to be in the single digits to begin with. Not sure a bigger police presence would help with these crimes anyway. If there aren’t alarms it’s just not that hard to pull off if you are a barely competent crook.

    I am not a big fan of a city income tax. I think it will just chase more money to the township. Besides Water Street I think the projections of a total collapse in real estate prices are overly pessimistic. The market just can’t fall too much more before they’re giving houses away. If the property taxes drop as much as they are projecting, a city income tax won’t help fill the gap since there won’t be anyone left to tax.

  5. Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to think that we could make things better, just by being more engaged citizens. At some point, though, I think it comes down to the police presence in a community. And this is something that I’ve struggled with. Up until 10 years ago, I probably would have always opted for less of a police presence, and it’s especially difficult for me to say otherwise now, in light of what we’re seeing cops do in places like Oakland, but I do think that good cops, who live in a community, and are an active, positive presence, can be a good thing… And, I don’t think we’ve ever talked about it here, but I’d like to see us go back to a situation where our local cops actually live here in Ypsi. As I understand it, none of our current cops do. I think that would help quite a bit.

  6. Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    She could hire a cheap G4S guard from Malawi.

  7. Clif
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Few related startup ideas I’ve been discussing with colleagues:

    Community owned and operated security cameras
    * _not and never_ privatized
    * Pros:
    * Anyone with internet access is able to view the footage
    * Because it’s not privatized, communities don’t have to worry about “Big Brother” secretly monitoring
    * Cons:
    * Makes stalking someone IRT creepily easy
    * Costs may be prohibitively high, especially in the event someone damages a portion of the system(s)
    * The community becomes Big Brother

    Cloud-based security systems
    * Pros:
    * No goofy base station with pins to remember. Everything can be done via DTMF, web, Android/iPhone app, dongle, etc…
    * Ex: You walk into your place of business, you get an alert to your cell saying one of your doors has been opened and asks if it was you.
    * Could also be location aware (armed when away, disarmed when present)
    * Could theoretically be completely wireless. Only requiring a potentially dedicated wireless router.
    * Cons:
    * Equipment fees
    * Would have to start as a wired solution with a blackbox hub to get things rolling
    * To save on overall costs, all heartbeats, alerts, etc… would have to travel via encrypted channels on the Internet
    * Not intended to be a replacement for security companies staffed 24/7

    Was also tossing around the idea of sticking some self-contained GPS transmitters in a few designated and poorly locked bikes to follow their movement. More of an art project than anything though.

  8. Posted November 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Those who are interested in reading more about G4S security forces, should check out Pete’s blog here.

    And I want to hear more about your bike project, Cliff.

  9. Elviscostello
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Mark, what you are referring to is a residency rule. There used to be residency rules for Firefighters and Police. Usually they had to live in the community in which they worked, or within a certain amount of miles from their job community. Ypsilanti Township had a 10 mile from the borders rule. The legislature banned residency rules, mostly because of Detroit. Firefighters and Police there wanted to move out of the city. Many of them already lived outside, but had a local address to an apartment that they would share. I think that a better way to go is to give incentives. Ypsilanti Township had, and I believe still has a cash incentive for County Deputies to live in the Township, they have never offered the same to Firefighters.

  10. Bob
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    That just sucks, I feel terrible for her. The sad truth is that it’s just a depressing area downtown. Gritty urban chic has a limited appeal and there are an awful lot of people in the area who just find the street characters around there to be too much. I hate to say it. I had a downtown business there and we never got robbed, but it was a constant fear. There were times I was nervous to wander into the parking lot behind my store late at night. I grew completely weary of chasing street folk out of my store and watching them scare customers away.

    I’ve even stopped going to the Crossroads festival down there, a project I helped brainstorm and push for years ago. I went down to the Steve Nardella/George Bedard show in the summer and left pretty quickly. It was entirely too depressing. Between the shuttered businesses and the abundance of downtrodden folks, I just couldn’t take it. I wouldn’t take my young children down there at this point. I’m sorry to even admit that but it’s the truth.

  11. Running 4Council
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    The last thing Ypsilanti needs is an income tax! It will drive away business! Beezy’s will move to Brighton to avoid this tax! There is still much fat in government to be cut! We can cut the fat without it affecting police and firefighters! We all have lawn mowers, hoses and guns anyway! An income tax is regressive! It makes people pay tax according to their income! It is an attack on renters and struggling students who have low income! Instead, we should ticket all those trucks ruining our streets! It is time for a new era of transparency in city government! If you elect me, I promise to post everything that you’ve been lied about right here on this blog! Starting with Water Street!!!! Trust me, I have a job, an undergraduate degree and one college professor on my side! Plus, did I mention, low taxes and transparency!

  12. bee
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Oh hi there.

    Thanks for sharing this Mark-

    First, I *don’t* live in constant fear and refuse to based on the behavior of such a tiny portion of the population- I’m pissed and hurt and financially strapped, but not paranoid.

    Second, it’s a tough road to want to share this- it’s necessary as a good citizen, and sweeping it under the rug doesn’t do anyone any good. However; it kills me to think anyone wouldn’t come down here because of a break in, or adding the perception/reality that Ypsi is crime ridden. Shitty things happen everywhere.

    But mostly, business as usual- focusing on the good and making it better.. and trying constantly to find ways to minimize our risks…

  13. Steve T
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The simplest suggestion I can offer as a resident of downtown is to reinforce doors and perhaps the installation of cameras. Several businesses already have them. I know Luwaks had them. It’s of little consolation I’m sure but its probably the most cost effective.

  14. quinn
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Bob, what “street characters” are you referring to and what bothers you so much about them? The following tangent is inspired by Bob’s post, but not directed at him, specifically.

    Living and working in downtown Ypsilanti has helped me to realize that the perception of Ypsilanti as “scarier” than other cities boils down to racism and classism. The majority of people downtown on any given day are patronizing the local businesses and/or waiting for a bus. Many of them happen to be working class people of color. There are definitely a handful of people panhandling or engaging in illegal activities. That is absolutely no different than downtown Ann Arbor. It just seems “scarier” to folks who associate working class, poor and homeless people of color with criminals.

    Most of the “street people” (by which I assume you mean homeless people) in Ypsilanti are respectful and keep to themselves. Even those who ask for money or who appear mentally ill are generally friendly and interesting people if you take the time to talk to them. Please don’t assume you can tell who is homeless and who is not.

    In Michigan with our current economy, I’d like to see us all be more understanding of people who are struggling to make ends meet. Can we stop viewing the homeless, poor and mentally ill as inconveniences that come with “gritty urban chic” and try to remember that they are people?

    It may be hip for middle class white folks to “slum” in Ypsi, but if you can’t set aside your judgments, please don’t come here. Crime is awful and hurts our community, but it is not unique to Ypsilanti. As Bee alluded to, spreading fear and misconceptions about our city and our citizens is equally destructive.

  15. Mr. X
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I agree with Bee on this. These break-ins happened late at night, and no one was hurt. Does it suck? Yes. But is there reason not to come downtown and patronize local businesses? No. These are property crimes, not violent crimes. I eat at Beezy’s quite often, and I’ve never had a problem.

  16. Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    This makes me sad. I know that crime happens but it’s unfortunate that it has to happen to place I know, and feel close to, to realize it’s real. Beezy was one of favorite business when I lived on the east side of the state. I miss it all the time and tell west side friends about it.

  17. Posted November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Street Folk == Black People.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’m not advocating this response, but I’m reminded of his old case in Chicago.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-08-23/news/9708230151_1_burglar-alarm-tavern-death

  19. Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    As Elviscostello notes, state law forbids us from having residency requirements for municipal employees, and most of our police and fire employees live outside the city. (DPW and city hall have much higher in-city addresses.) I’m not terribly convinced there’d be a huge advantage to having the public safety employees living in town, unless we went from an all-full-time fire department to a partially on-call system. I’m open to other arguments about the benefit, though.

    If we did want to get more city employees living in town, one thing we could do is offer housing allowances/incentives to city staff to live in the city limits, similar to the Live Downtown program in Detroit. Say, next time the union contracts are up for renewal, and the city needs to cut $5,000 from each employee’s total compensation, some of the money could go into a fund that gives down payment assistance grants to any city employee who buys a home inside the city limits.

    Countdown to somebody saying we don’t have the money for such extravagance: 3…2…1…

    Okay, so let’s limit the down payment grant to only being available for foreclosed properties in the city limits. To do a lot of handwaving on the numbers, we can say that a foreclosure reduces the value of every property within a one block radius by 1-2%. So 10-25 homes, average value $100k, reduced by 1-2% means each foreclosure reduces total property values by $10k-$50k, or $5-25k in taxable value, or $150-$750 in city tax revenues (counting general fund, road, transit, solid waste, and police/fire pension millages).

    So a $5000 down payment assistance grant to police/fire employees, used towards the purchase of a foreclosed home in the city, could repay itself in property tax stabilization in as little as 6-7 years (or a lot longer). Maybe that’s not a good enough ROI all by itself to do this, but if we think that there are good non-fiscal reasons to have public safety employees living within the city limits, the financial return is gravy. Especially if we assume that we can implement something like this at the same time as / as a mitigating factor to cutting employee pay / benefits, such that it doesn’t cost the city anything new.

  20. Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Mark, I’m pleased to be your fact-check squad, but maybe you can tell that I find housing a whole lot more interesting than crime. I’ll let somebody else mine the crime figures.

  21. Bob
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Peter, you really are such a judgmental dick. Street people was not code for black people. It meant street people. Poor, unfortunate people who are always wandering the streets down there. The vast majority of them seem to be white, though that’s really irrelevant. And I think you know exactly what I’m fucking talking about.

    I’m sympathetic to the people I’m talking about but I don’t necessarily want to take my kids into a business where we have to dodge shaky, chain-smoking drug addicts or the guy with no face. If you want to call that anti-Ypsi or suburban racism…so be it. It’s the truth.

    It was depressing to take my three old son down to hear some music and have to explain why it was repeatedly interrupted by a drunken, one-legged guy who was dancing without his crutches and kept falling, face-first, into the stage. This was only one example. Sad, depressing, a reflection of our dire economic times…but who needs it? It’s probably the reason things like that festival struggle and hardly anyone attends.

    You can trash me for telling you my honest opinion but I think you all know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of you just defend Ypsi to the point of being dishonest about it.

  22. Brainless
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Bob, while there are judgmental folks here who love to lay it on a bit thick sometimes, I think this statement you made summarizes why some folks get upset:

    “I had a downtown business there and we never got robbed, but it was a constant fear.”

    Nothing happened and yet you were scared. WHY?! What is it about the unknown that got under your skin? Are you afraid to drive? Because, if you really wanted to be scared about something, that would statistically be the thing to focus on. Driving is far more risky than Ypsilanti, but you quit the latter and are probably still doing the former, eh? Are you afraid to overeat? When the sandwich approaches your maw, are you thinking about all the horrible things that obesity does to your body? Or are you just enjoying your lunch? (Does corned beef have bravery vitamins or something?)

  23. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I’ve been in Ypsi/Downtown area since, mid 80s.
    I’ve never heard of this many businesses being hit?
    Usually it is an inside job, in my experience.
    Times are tough, it’s the holidays.
    Don’t think, Downtown is any worse, IMHO.

    Watching Laughing.

  24. Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    OK, Bob, I will accept that you are an inclusive individual and are willing to include poor white people, alcoholics, the handicapped and the mentally ill in your definition of street people.

    I personally would have no problem taking my kid to a show where a guy on crutches has a good time watching a band, though it’s clear that you do. It’s pretty obvious what you are teaching your child and I’m sorry, but I take exception to it.

    I’ll agree, though, that No-Face, as sad as he was, was a complete dick.

  25. Mr. X
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The man with no face has been gone for years. Freaks and weirdos do still abound, but, for the most part, they don’t hassle people. It can be awkward, explaining them to kids, but no more so than explaining what goes on in DejaVu.

  26. Bob
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    But Peter, didn’t you just tell me last argument ago that you were admittedly a terrible father?
    And fuck you for thinking you know what I’m teaching my kid. If wanting a three year old to get slightly older before he faces some of the harsh realities of life makes me a jerk, so be it.

    As usual you sort of hone in on one small part of what I said, while ignoring the larger message. There are reasons why businesses and events downtown struggle so hard. Some of them have to do with exactly what I was talking about. I would guess that the vast majority of Washtenaw county residents are far more timid, judgmental, and generally turned off by what they often encounter downtown.

    If you don’t see that it matters, that it affects businesses who need those other patrons, you’re delusional. It takes more than Ypsi-apologist bloggers at the Corner Brewery to build a thriving downtown.

  27. Mr. X
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying, Bob, but the thing is that we can’t exclude people from society for being weird, disabled, or even mentally ill. They have every right to be on the street as the rest of us, up until they break the law. I suppose we could have our cops give them a harder time, which is what I expect happens in Plymouth and places like that, but, if they aren’t breaking the law, I have a problem with that. So, yes, it’s more work to raise your kid in that kind of environment. It’s much easier to parent in an environment like downtown Plymouth, where you won’t see poor people. But I would argue that you aren’t doing your kids any favors by doing so. With that said, though, I’ll admit that there are certain times that it seems like too much work. And, in those instances, we do something else.

  28. Bob
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    And Brainless, I should have clarified. I meant I never got robbed at gunpoint or my windows smashed in. We experienced plenty of theft, fraud, crazy things I don’t even want to remember. Some of them were things any retailer goes through, others were uniquely Ypsi.

    But it was more than fear, I witnessed some pretty unsettling things. We stayed open much later than other retail stores and there were a few occasions when I couldn’t even get to my car in the parking lot across from the Elbow because it was engulfed by criminal activity. The police were never a presence for those of us down there. That part is my own perception, maybe others experienced better results.
    I enjoyed your suggestion that I’m timid though, that’s one adjective that I’ve never been linked to.

  29. Bob
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Mr. X, I never suggested excluding anyone. I merely said the depressing reality of some of it has finally gotten to me personally.

  30. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been here for a LONG time; Ypsilanti has always had a stigma of lower, and rougher than more desirable areas. That’s always a problem for Ypsilanti.
    It’s always seemed Ypsilanti stays, at it’s MAXIMUM, potential.
    It stays beat down; because of it’s long standing reputation, or for some reason, beneath other areas, JMHO,

    Watching Laughing.

  31. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Bob, what business did you own? It may have been mentioned?
    You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.
    It’s our right.

    Watching Laughing.

  32. kjc
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    i’m more bothered by overpriced antique stores than poor people.

  33. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    kjc, funny, which shops?
    I could elaborate.

    Watching Laughing.

  34. kjc
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    well, Mix comes to mind. I’m supportive of the idea but the place is more like a museum, considering everything is priced to sit there. (i have spent money at Mix btw so i have paid the prices.) i could suggest others. i took an out-of-town friend to beezy’s, mix, and the rocket on saturday. she loved two out of three. now, i

    i understand where Bob’s coming from, but I feel the opposite. I like what I see in Ypsi, including what makes others uncomfortable.

  35. kjc
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    meant to say: “Now, i AM glad Mix is using that space. but it could be a much more diverse and affordable store.”

  36. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The ideas are great.
    How long they can be sustained is Ypsi/Downtown’s problem?
    It’s tough.
    Businesses in Downtown/Ypsi come and go.

    Watching Laughing.

  37. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    in Ypsi/Downtown, sorry, not is,

    Watching Laughing.

  38. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always said, a National Grocery Chain, would be great for Downtown Ypsi.
    I know people on this site will bitch; but I’ve seen it all.
    EVERYBODY, needs food, and EVERYBODY in Ypsi/Downtown will come Downtown to shop for Food. You have to have food. It doesn’t seperate anybodies shopping; “You have to eat.” With that, the foot traffic, and massive amounts of people, coming downtown will visit other stores, and shop.
    In short, JMHO,

    Watching Laughing.

  39. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    On a different note, modify the Historic District Code and set up a parking structure for the Grocery Business, if necessary and let it roll.
    Downtown/Ypsi is stuck in the doldrums.
    Do you want vacant buildings, that adhere to the Historic district?
    Sure, but can you bend a bit to get a MASS Retailor in to bring HUGE amounts of foot traffice downtown?
    Well, sure, really isn’t for vacant buildings; but for keeping some type of style, or should we?

    Watching Laughing.

  40. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I’m trying to edit my posts, but the site won’t let me scroll up to do so?
    Any recommendations?

    Watching Laughing.

  41. Posted November 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I’m into drunk guys waving their crutches at live shows.

    If you don’t like that kind of thing, you can always go to Ann Arbor.

  42. Posted November 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I agree with mandating zombie gates, but clearly for a whole different reason.

  43. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I always find it fascinating, about posters; that have concluded, they are intellegent.
    How many people here, have actually run a business and dealt with Downtown Ypsi?

    Watching Laughing.

  44. Elbow
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    We need an anti-crutch ordinance.
    We need a well armed zombie patrol with outfits like the Ghostbusters.
    We need to guess which business Bob owned.

    My guess, since he said that he parked by the Tap Room, is that candle store that was by Puffer Reds for a while. Does anyone else remember that? It was about 8 years ago or so.

  45. Edward
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Josh mentioned a broken door at Dos Hermanos. Were they robbed as well? Were they one of the two other downtown businesses mentioned by Bee when she said that three had been hit? If so, what’s the other one?

  46. Watching Laughing.
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Ahhhh, Puffer Reds, has done well over a million dollar business for years, or 2.
    Eric, and his organiztion know what to do.
    The local blogs seem to PUMP, the local art scene and “HIP” business’s that don’t survive.
    Oh well, what do I know?

    Watching Laughing.

  47. Posted November 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    WL – you hit on one obstacle for a national chain grocery, which is the parking. And I will assure you that it’s not the historic district ordinance that’s in the way of a parking structure, but the price tag. Those suckers cost $30,000-$40,000 per space to construct. I can think of much better ways to spend that kind of scratch improving the city than on a Taj Mahal for cars.

    Also, supermarkets tend to be pretty low on the scale as far as generating foot traffic. I’ll walk to the food co-op or to Dos Hermanos to pick up stuff for the evening’s dinner, but if I’m coming out of a supermarket with 4 full shopping bags, I’m not going to spend a lot of time bopping in and out of other stores while my food defrosts.

  48. Posted November 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I made a point to be nice to every homeless person I saw today just because of this thread.

  49. bee
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    So far as I’m aware, it was Dos Hermanos [more than once], Korey’s, the skate shop on Washington [where I understand the suspect was caught on camera] and perhaps one or two other attempted break-ins. They all shared a similar MO and Sunday morning when reporting my 2nd break in, the police had a strong case for a search warrant and were busy pulling the details together… I don’t know much more than that. I haven’t seen the police reports yet, nor do I intend for to speak for other business owners.

    This conversation took a pretty radical turn, and I won’t get involved with that aspect, except to perhaps take it on another turn- what concerns me most as a HUMAN BEING living on this big ball of gas floating in space is… how do we prevent bad guys from doing bad things? We need better fixes, not just alarm systems and camera surveillance… we need treatment programs and a civilized society… we need to treat the problem not the symptoms. I feel empathy for the individual/s responsible for these crimes [and yes, I’d like to kick the shit out of them too, but] that their addled/addicted/damaged brain would even make these actions a means of “income” or survival for him/her.

    So, back to fear… the world is a fucked up place. Ypsi is not unique in that. I’m not about to run off to some lily white pasture or feel chased out of business in Ypsi [regardless of being perceived as “hip” by some bloggers and some posters destined to fail]; I’m tough and I have a sense of place here- regardless of race, history, politics, triumphs or failures, past or present, this place chose me as home. So, hopefully I don’t say anything too stupid or too naive or too defensive, but I stand firmly in my beliefs in this community, in this world, that there is FAR more good than bad, that there is no magic bullet, and that bad guys are inevitable, but they ain’t gonna bring me down. And more of that please.

  50. Posted November 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Not to belabor a point, but I was just walking through downtown Ann Arbor and remembered reading something from the owner of Poshhhhh on Ann Arbor. com regarding her closing. In it, she blamed homeless people for the failure of her business. Here, Bob has also laid some of the blame for the closing of his business on homeless people.

    Have these business owners ever stopped to think that the lack of demand for their goods might actually be the problem? Or maybe that the same forces which erase demand for already sketchy business ventures might also be the same economic forces that put people on the street, or worse yet, lead them to break in to beezy’s place and steal shit?

    I guess the only solution is to get police in riot gear to start shipping off homeless people to Antarctica or something. Only then will we see America return to its former greatness.

    In all seriousness, blaming homeless people for the failure of a business is flatly misplaced.

  51. Posted November 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Bee, love your eatery. We are an urban area. with 5,081.5/sq mi much like Detroit 5,142/sq mi compared to Grand Rapids 4,343/sq mi or Ann Arbor 4,219.8/sq mi. And when people can cruise up US 12 from Saline 1,874.4/sq mi or drive in from Ypsitucky 1,631.4/sq mi , they are of course amassed by the complexity of living side by side so many thousands of different folks. Crime is a reality when living so closely to so many. Never leave money in your store. Have plenty of insurance. Rely on loyal customers and help.

  52. Dave
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    On behalf of the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti who puts on Crossroads, and in response to comments made by “Bob”, here is a link to a good video from that night with Steve Nardella and George Bedard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2-ctO2i0mo. If the link doesn’t work just search Youtube on Crossroads Ypsilanti and click on the segment with Steve and George. As you will see in the video, we had kids and their mom dancing in front of the stage, we had a nice crowd sitting back and enjoying the wonderful music, and no one looked afraid or intimidated. Further, DAY worked closely with the Police Department to ensure a safe environment, which it was all summer long. We collectively reveled in the wonderful music, the diverse crowd, the intimate setting and in the increased number of vendors who participated. At the end of the season the feedback was overwhelmingly positive with many begging for us to continue Crossroads in summer 2012, which we plan to do. I attended 6 out of 7 Crossroads last summer and could not have been prouder of the event and the many volunteers who worked to make this happen. This was just good Ypsi!

  53. koosh
    Posted November 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Last summer after getting really, really drunk I tried to break into Beezy’s.

    I was actually trying to break into Dreamland and got the address wrong.

  54. Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    AnnArbor.com has more on the arrest. The suspect, who recently moved to Ypsi from Detroit, lives on S. Washington Street.

  55. Posted November 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Almost every weekend we attended the Crossroads festivals. We had a great time, there were plenty of police presence, but there was only one visible disturbance, and that was a police chasing someone who was caring a bottle of alcohol in a brown bag. Otherwise, there were plenty of children and parents dancing in the street to some fabulous music, and good food. I was actually happy that the bar in the closest proximity to the festival was closed for business. It kept away those who only intended to be loud and disruptive. Did I say how good the musical acts were?
    I certainly hope they catch the criminals and prosecute them to the max. I know there maybe no one good solution for the crime in any city. There are some cities whose citizens take to the streets to detour criminals. If we, as a community, can keep our eyes open and report suspicious behavior, and make it less profitable to be a criminal, things may get better for business owners.
    Supporting local businesses so they can survive in Ypsilanti is important. With jobs disappearing, crime is bound to become more frequent. I hope Beezy’s can survive this unfortunate crime. I say we all go down to Beezy’s this Sunday or as soon as we can and have a meal. I say we all tip at least 20% and bring a friend.
    I have one request; is it so hard for us to look at our fellow human beings and have a little empathy? Can we all take a moment to say hello and show a little kindness? Is there a Santa Claus or Christmas Angel we can pull out of our inside pocket and give a little of ourselves to make someone feel more like a worthy part of society?
    Please take the high road people. Quit cutting down the less fortunate. You might just like yourself for a change if you do.

  56. bee
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    nana, I love the spirit of your post.

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/ypsilanti/owner-of-business-hit-during-string-of-ypsilanti-burglaries-continues-to-look-forward/

    In between the normal Monday catch up in the kitchen game, on the phone with insurance/security company/9 billion emails and such I was in touch with kyle from annarbor.com- I’m happy, under the circumstances, with how we handled what I said.

    Journalism or not, a lot of people read annarbor.com, so I hope we can turn this into a bigger conversation and keep working on ways to make our community safer together.

    and yes, please purchase gift cards! I’m sure most of you realize this, but margins in the restaurant business are very small; aside from a meager stipend for me, all money that flows through beezy’s goes into running beezy’s and I do whatever, wherever I can to contribute food and services to many organizations through the community. Losing cash this suddenly this time of year greatly diminishes my ability to serve the community at large. We’ll survive, thanks to your support, and the fact that since I’ve always been on poor side of things I know how to make ends meet- I hope someday it doesn’t have to be this hard to make things work, and it was just getting a whole lot easier to make the beezy’s machine flip the switch from surviving to thriving, and yes, this is a setback, but I’m gonna do what I do.

  57. Edward
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    If I watch your video, Dave, am I going to see this terrifyingly drunk one-legged man swinging his crutches at children.?

  58. quinn
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Well said, Bee!

    I work at the Ozone House Drop-In Center in Ypsi. Every Friday Bee delivers a ton of homemade soup and other goodies to help feed local homeless and at-risk youth. For many of the kids it’s their only meal of the day. Please keep supporting local businesses so they can keep giving back to our community!

  59. Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I heard Ozone house is a recruiting office for gay sex.

    Regardless, bee should be commended. Excellent work. Keep it up. One day, I’ll buy coffee at your place.

  60. bee
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    oh peter…

  61. Posted November 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that Ozone house is a recruitment area for gay sex. Just so you know.

    That’s someone else. Not me.

  62. bee
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    [I know! I was just giving you mom face and a farcical exasperation!]

  63. koosh
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I would prefer Bee offer as one of the choices each day a soup that turned you gay. I’d prefer that to a vegan choice or anything with lentils in it.

  64. anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Where is EOS, anyway?

    Probably doing more of his “research” on pedophilia.

    That guy spends more time on NAMBLA websites than Pete Townshend.

  65. anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    But, koosh, the vegan choice does turn you gay.

  66. Joseph Golder
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I am amazed how many people I know that have become homeless! The stories of going from one shelter to another. Living in the woods and throwing a net in to the waters of the huron for fish to eat! Plugging a space heater into an outlet in a hall somewhere. They spend all their time just surviving.
    I have huge reservations every time I leave my home fearing someone will take my hard earned things. I have compassion for everyone struggling to survive this economic catastrophe. Knock on my door if you have a need! I will do everything possible to help you! If you steal from me I will treat you as a thief. It’s bad enough our local, county, state, federal goverment and wall st is stealing from me everyday. I don’t need to become a victim of others decaying principles!!

  67. Android Alice
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Was the suspect ever apprehended? The last I heard, he had told the police, I assume over the phone, that he’d be turning himself in. Did that happen?

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] I scoop AnnArbor.com, like yesterday, with my story about the break-in at Beezy’s. But, more often than not, they scoop me. This, I suppose, is to be expected, as, from what […]

  2. […] a few days ago, in that post about the late-night break-in at Beezy’s, I mentioned how the police had a suspect? Well, they released a name a photo today. The […]

  3. […] that guy who was arrested a few months ago for, among other things, breaking into Beezy’s and stealing a safe? Well, according to a comment left earlier today by a reader calling himself Burt Reynolds, the guy […]

  4. […] you’ve had your challenges as well, right? I mean, among other things, you had your restaurant broken into at least twice that I know of. I’m curious as to what, if anything, you learned from that […]

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