‘Constant battle’: Thor-Freya construction, businesses affected by Camp Hope
SPOKANE, Wash. — Local businesses and construction projects are taking new measures to deal with crime they say is coming from Camp Hope.
4 News Now was given a copy of the letter CR Concrete sent Mayor Nadine Woodward back in July detailing unsafe work conditions they’re dealing with at the Thor-Freya site. A few weeks later, the company says nothing’s changed.
In the letter, they say they’re losing confidence they can complete construction on time and within the budget if the camp stays. Other local businesses are also having to adjust to unforeseen circumstances.
You may see an armed security guard the next time you shop at The Store on Thor which is located just across the freeway from Camp Hope.
“We hired him as full-time security,” said Tyler Cossey, the owner and manager of the store. “He has a bulletproof vest. He’s armed, and it’s for the safety of the customers.”
This new hire is the latest investment Cossey’s had to make because of issues surrounding theft, loitering and violence with weapons.
He also has a wall of faces up in the store to let his employees know who’s banned from shopping there.
“There’s a lot of theft with it. I mean it’s a daily occurrence of us trying to get our product back, trying to stop people from bagging it into their bags and trying to walk out,” he said.
The Thor-Freya construction is also dealing with difficulties they say they’ve seen since day one.
In the letter the company sent last month, they detail major problems coming from the camp including breaking and entering, stolen equipment, spending $2800 a week on vandalism alone and employees being threatened with weapons.
Camp Hope managers say they work to keep crime out of the camp.
“The idea that this is camp crime is a stereotype,” said Maurice Smith who helps oversee and provide structure at the camp. “We will walk them through the camp to find the individual. We want to work with both SPD and with the business owners, but you have to come with us and you have to communicate with us, and we will be proactive.”
He says they’ll have people trespassed off the property if they know who’s committing the crimes.
Cossey says he’s tried to have certain people removed from the camp who have caused issues at his store but hasn’t seen much change.
“I drive by the camp quite a bit, but I still see the same people,” he said.
As the camp continues to grow, businesses are doing what they can to stay afloat and keep everyone safe.
“It’s just a constant battle,” Cossey concluded.
SPD says they have two officers stationed at the camp from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to try and deter crime. If you are a victim of property crime or anything else, you’re encouraged to file a police report, and will be investigated.
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