North Omaha nonprofit voices frustration over recent break-ins

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A North Omaha nonprofit is facing challenges as it makes an attempt to provide a business to an area that desperately needs them.

The Fair Deal Village Marketplace is an effort by the Omaha Economic Development Corporation to attract start-up businesses to the area. Lately, some of those businesses have been broken into and had their merchandise stolen.

“We wanted to give an opportunity to attract businesses, create entrepreneurs, and to provide goods and services to this community and to the community at large,” said OEDC President Michael Maroney

But lately, there has been trouble here. In the last few days there have been break-ins of busted windows and stealing merchandise inside.

“As far as the break-ins, this is like the fifth or sixth break-in since the village has been here, said Maroney.

Valerie Bradford owns a business in the marketplace. She says the break-ins are concerning.

“It makes me feel uneasy, it makes me feel violated along with the other tenants, said Bradford. I mean they’re attacking at night now, you know who’s to say they won’t do it during the day.”

This type of activity breaks the back of a community trying to attract business to the area.

“They certainly set us back tremendously and they created a sense of fear within people, said Maroney. Both people that come down here and those who would like to start a business or run a business down here.”

Maroney is determined. The broken glass, the criminal activity won’t stop the development of the marketplace or the neighborhood.

“It hurts tremendously to pour your heart and soul trying to create something and then have people come along and just haphazardly attempt to destroy, said Maroney. I said attempt to destroy cause we will not be defeated.

Officials say they plan to meet with a security consultant and develop a plan moving forward.

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