It is not a great start to the season for a popular coffee hang out on Ross Street.
Vandals trashed Cool Beans Bus sometime early Sunday morning.
The bus had only opened its doors on 4740 50 Street on Wednesday.
“We just spent the last few weeks getting ready,” said owner-operator Kevin Traptow. “It’s like your house. You spend all your energy here. All your kids spend their time working here so when someone breaks in it’s obviously discouraging.”
Traptow said he considers himself lucky because there are so many people that have been robbed or their houses broken into and it has only happened to them a few times. Last August the bus was broken into twice in one week.
But this was much worse, said Traptow.
The bus doors were smashed in and every drawer and fridge was emptied on the floor. Food and equipment were tossed around with no regard. The windows on the Volkswagen were broken and the shed that sits on the property was rummaged through.
“It was pretty disastrous,” said Traptow. “They tried to pry open the doors. They broke the front doors off and then they went through everything … Initially I thought they were looking for money, which we don’t keep in there. There was so much damage. It was so much aggression. You can tell just the way they ripped the doors off. He had cut himself so there was blood everywhere.”
Traptow said he received a call Sunday morning from a friend who had noticed the damage.
He said they are still trying to figure out what is missing. They had to buy new supplies and were able to fix the doors.
Traptow, his wife and friends cleaned up the mess on Sunday. A new security system with cameras was installed on Sunday.
He said this latest form of vandalism will not deter them from keeping the bus downtown.
“I still feel this is where we want to be,” said Traptow. “The few bad apples do not come close to outweighing the awesome people that support us.”
One person set up a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $5,000 to help the business out. Traptow said the support has been overwhelming. He said he is extremely appreciative of all the support that he has received from the community.
“It would be nice if they caught him so he does not do this to some other small business,” said Traptow.
If you have any information about this crime, contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com.