NH Businesses Concerned About Downtown Crime

Some business owners on Elm Street in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire are asking for the city's help to keep their customers and employees safe.

Mint Bistro owner Tim Baines, a newly elected Alderman in Manchester, said someone tried stealing cash from their register on Monday.

"My general manager came in for work around 1:15 in the afternoon and noticed that the bar drawer was smashed to the ground," Baines said. 

Right before this incident, this same man was said to be a block away at Republic Cafe, also on Elm Street.

“He came in our back door,” said Republic Cafe Partner Peter Macone. “He said, 'I was looking for an application,' and one of our cooks said, 'well you could have come in the front door but also why don't you walk out this way.'”

Both Macone and Baines gave surveillance footage of those incidents to the Manchester Police.

On Tuesday, Manchester Police arrested Calvin Degreenia, 32, after they say he attempted to steal from a Bob's Furniture Delivery Truck. They say they recognized him from the restaurant surveillance video.

Baines says this incident is part of a bigger problem largely surrounding the opiod drug crisis in Manchester.

“If you have these unsettling events when you're trying to walk in the door or going to your car at the end of the night, it can be bad for business,” said Baines.

Baines said crime is one of the central reasons he ran for alderman.

“I thought I would use my voice and try to fight for what we're all looking for at city hall,” Baines said.

In a statement Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said, “I think the city can always be doing more to help businesses downtown, which is why I've been meeting with organizations and holding community office hours — so I can hear firsthand the issues our city is facing, and have real conversations about what we can do to help.”

“Down here on Elm street, we’re right here in it, we are talking we're having meetings, we're getting together and we're saying what can we do,” said Macone.

Baines said right now the efforts to combat these incidents are largely led by the Elm Street business owners. He said two weeks ago business owners hosted a round table discussion attended by 100-percent local owners.

Macone said he wants to see the city step up.

“We’d love to see a lot more police walking down here,” Macone said.

“I think we need to be more proactive in our approach to make sure that people are feeling safe down here,” Baines said.

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