A Bay of Plenty butcher has reached “breaking point” and is closing one of his stores after the latest in a spate of burglaries pushed his health and stress levels to the limit.
Doug Jarvis, who has been a butcher for 38 years, said his life was “touch and go” after his blood pressure reached dangerously high levels following break-ins and thefts from his stores in Mt Maunganui and Pāpāmoa.
“I’m done,” he said. “I’m so sorry for the customers but it is just not worth it. It’s killing me.”
Thieves stealing milk from outside Doug Jarvis Butchery
The butcher and deli owner announced he is closing his store at Owens Place retail park in Mt Maunganui completely. The tipping point arrived over the weekend when pallets of milk were stolen from outside the store by robbers with head torches and disguised in balaclavas.
“This is what drove me to the edge,” said Jarvis. “It is not the milk itself - it is just I can’t deal with it all any more. It is the impact on my health, with the stress of the financial loss from all the break-ins this year.
“I have had to spend thousands adding extra security and paying insurance excesses, and the margins on meat are getting tighter by the day with inflation and competition from the big supermarkets.”
Jarvis said his doctor had warned him that his blood pressure was so high it was “touch and go”.
“He wanted me to go into hospital,” he said, “as it was so high it was at dangerous levels and touch and go. I have the business to look after, but it got to the point where I said to myself ‘these break-ins are a s... show, I just can’t deal with it any more’.”
Jarvis will close down his Mt Maunganui store but will retain the shop in Pāpāmoa Plaza.
It was not an easy decision for the man who started to learn his trade when he was 13 years old at his father’s store in Manchester, England.
“I’ve been in the trade for 38 years and loved it, but I can’t handle this,” said Jarvis. “I have never seen anything like it. The police do what they can but the issue is people steal and just get away with it.
“If anybody did this years ago, they would be thrown into jail. Now they just have to do community service or something, and that is if they get caught. They don’t care.”
Doug Jarvis has experienced a number of thefts and break-ins in recent weeks.
The overnight break-ins have been accompanied by a number of daylight incidents at both of his stores. Meat has been stolen by thieves at night but also by some walking in and helping themselves.
Jarvis’ customers expressed their disappointment at the closure but were unanimously supportive and understanding of Doug’s decision.
“Sorry for the stress this has caused you and your family … the most appalling behaviour,” said one post on his social media page.
“Such a loss to the community.”
“Sorry this has happened yet again,” said another. “So not cool, you are trying to make a living and you keep getting kicked in the guts.
“Beyond comprehension these thugs! Why do they think it's their right to steal from you?”
Doug Jarvis runs two stores - in Mount Maunganui and Pāpāmoa. Photo: SunLive.