Overnight crime hits downtown core – owners frustrated (Photos)

Windows were smashed at multiple businesses overnight May 15-16, 2021 (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

During a late night check-in at her store, Julie Kerhanovich noticed her window had been smashed again, as has happened before.

Julie and her husband own “The Other Guys” located in the 400 block of Queen Street. She spoke with SaultOnline and is understandably upset with events that occurred last night.

Kerhanovich called Sault Police Services last evening and told them of the front window at her location being smashed. They arrived within 20-30 minutes, they took a report and left.

Shortly after, her husband walked their section of Queen Street to see what other damage may have occurred. He noticed that an overhead sign had been smashed, right next door, but no other visible damage was yet apparent.

A short time later, after she once again decided she was going to sleep in her store, she noticed individuals hanging out on the stage across the street, one of whom she believed was responsible for smashing her window.

She called police for the second time that evening, and upon arrival officers spoke at length with the individuals on the stage, one of which she described as having a “small axe” type weapon, and then left the area.

When she awoke this morning, she noticed that, since the police had left the area, more damage had been done to other stores, near hers.  Holes had been smashed in the windows of both June and Friends Hairstyling and Silver Threads Boutique.  She wondered out loud to this reporter if the damage would have occurred, had the police taken the people on the stage away or made them disperse.

She and her husband aren’t only frustrated with police, but also with the Downtown Association and the lack of security.

“During the last lockdown, there was like security going up and down Queen Street, they’d shine lights and drive like 20, you don’t see that now,” said Kerhanovich. “Did the Downtown Association pay for security again, or are they done paying for that, was it just for fun? when everybody’s like we are all in this together?.”

Julie and her husband aren’t the first business owners who are frustrated with the lack of security on Queen Street.  SaultOnline also spoke with the owners of Vintage Game’s and Junque earlier this year about the same issues.

The owners of June and Friends Hairstyling arrived while we were downtown and although not willing to go on camera, they were also frustrated and contacting police.

There are online reports of more than just these four businesses being hit overnight.  Some say they scared an individual out of the Bruce and Albert Street area who was doing the same thing.

Stay with SaultOnline as we bring you more information regarding crime in the city and surrounding area.



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  1. https://www.wsj.com/articles/manhattan-business-districts-to-get-more-police-in-reopening-push-11619362800

    Sault Ste Marie is not the only people dealing with these issues, the difference is other locations are being more proactive,,, more police presence will lower the petty crime,,,while Manhattan is a much bigger city, they have similar issues, to rid these crimes they have hired more police to make it more people friendly, a safe environment protecting the very businesses that built their community ,, people will come if it’s safe, new businesses will open if they feel it’s safe! ! They won’t visit a park where they feel their safety may be compromised!!!! Maybe we should take note of how other communities and how they’re dealing with these very issues as opposing to ignoring it! Businesses can’t be asked to foot the bill over and over, for having a store front,, they too need to feel that they too are being protected, it’s too late once the crime has been committed!

  2. We are permanent residents of Queen Street.
    I have store frontages on Queen Street and about six months ago one of the windows was broken. I’ve reported to the Police and pay for the glass to be replaced.
    Two months later, the same glass was broken again… another six hundred.
    I’m located in an area where there are cameras in the front, the back and the sides.
    I know who is the person that broke the glass, I know his name. This guy popped up here in the Soo about six years ago from another city far away from here. He’s been in and out of court few times and made some hard time in jail.
    The night the Police had an incident in the lobby of a building in downtown, the guy I’m referring to as the one that broke the glasses before, shows up at 4.20 AM to the front door with a 16 inch knife and try to pry the door open. After about five minutes trying without success, he drops the knife on the front door and walks away. There are CCTV records.
    I’d call the Police, they came pick up the knife and away they went.
    Now I can see, I’m not the only one and I’m sympathetic with all those neighbours on Queen Street East.
    In my opinion, there is a mafia operating in this town and is call the mental health and disability mafia. If you don’t believe me, check who tare he people that is on the street and where are they coming from. 95% of them are not local people and neither are they people from the neighbouring cities or towns.
    Dan, I have no problem identifying myself with you.

  3. It is just so sad the see this happening to owners of businesses that are already struggling from the Ford government’s ineffective stay-at-home order. IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE OR WORKING MR. FORD. I see just as many people out as before the lockdowns. It is irritating that we are being treated the same as the GTA. When people have little to do vandalism is going to increase.

    • The pandemic has nothing to do with the scum roaming the downtown core ! Thank the liberal judges and inept crown for putting them back on the streets with no jail time !!

  4. Unfortunately Sault Ste. Marie is a dying city and in a sad state of affairs. 🙁

  5. Without some vigilantes to help out this problem is far from over. You wouldn’t want to disturb the black and white sleeper units that are parked in uninhabited or out of the way areas late at night to catch up on their beauty rest, it’s a long shift ya know.

  6. The police in the Soo is lazy, they take too much time to get where the trouble is, I don’t know if is because they don’t have enough people or they don’t get pay good money or they don’t care, but is sad that when you are in danger you don’t want to call them because by the time they come the bad guys are gone.

  7. With people being at home because we cannot go anywhere there are probably less residential breakins. Therefore the only thing left for the thieves and drug addicts is the businesses. These criminals do no not fear getting caught as the catch and release policies being adherred to now give them a pass and promise to appear. What a joke . A promise to appear for someone who has probably already had several failing to appears. I am sure that someone who wants to wield an axe and cause damage randomly really respects a promise to appear.

  8. This is so sad. Spend some of that money for the down town square on good Closed caption cameras. Catch them in the act

  9. We have all these Drug assisted using sites all over downtown. There’s no work on helping people improve or recover their lives, only continued use and how the government can profit from it. Needles and other drug debris all over the city. We need to start helping people get clean before we try to clean the streets these crimes continue on. Look at the Gore street clean up. Now you have crashes from no traffic lights and huge barriers blocking up the lanes. It hasn’t helped anything or detoured any crime.

  10. And they wonder why businesses don’t set up shop in the downtown area! No revitalization will ever happen with this vandalism happening…no matter how hard the downtown association works at it. If police are not going to step up and rid the area of these thugs! Also, shocked that police did not arrest that group… I am sure other stores wouldn’t have been vandalized. What’s up with that!!

  11. While riding my bike through Bellievue Park yesterday there was no shortage of Police at a lockdown protest, so not sure why they don’t show up on Queen St s bit quicker and perhaps make some arrests there. I walk a lot in the Queen area mostly daytime as my brother has a business there. I witness the downtown and surrounding area as a partially run down depressed area. Very sad as I remember how clean and vibrant all that area used to be. Ron….

  12. Trudeau’s soft on crime bill did nothing to help the downward slide of Sewer Ste Marie

  13. Thank the liberal judges who set them on their way for crimes because the crown is to lazy and corrupt to do their jobs

  14. Way to much of this happening, someone who knows these businesses, and people is going to step in if the police arn’t and someone is going to get seriously hurt. If nothing is being done, thats the way things are going to be. Someone who cares a lot about these families and buisnesses is going to step in, camp out the area and things are going to turn violent.

    Enough is enough, get some damn protection/security for these businesses struggling to stay open. We’ve had enough close here already, and we don’t need vandals and idiots causing more to close.

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