MONTREAL -- Business owners in Griffintown are blaming pandemic public health restrictions for a series of break-ins over the past month.

The string of thefts have mostly targetted restaurants and pubs in the area. Mauvais Garcons is among the eateries that have been targetted. Early on Feb. 12, the owners of the restaurant received an alert, which said a window had been broken and their cash register and an iPad had been stolen.

“Money is scarce right now, so it's really bad timing to be robbed and have this money that we have to pay for all these repairs,” said co-owner Robert Goldberg.

The neighbouring Lord William Pub was also hit in a similar crime.

“Someone jumped over onto my terrace and broke in through my patio door,” said owner Joe Pilotte. “They took some booze, stole our iPad. It was just basically a smash-and-grab and they were gone.”

Goldberg said he's concerned that the perpetrators are taking advantage of the curfew.

“There's no one around to pay any attention,” he said. “The alarms go off, window shatters.”

Pilotte struck a more philosophical tone.

“To get robbed when you already have nothing is a little deflating but honestly, if someone's out there robbing right now after curfew and risking their neck to get those fines, they're clearly in a worse spot than I am,” he said.

Montreal police did not respond to a request for comment.

The owners of Mauvais Garcons decided to pay for repairs out of pocket, as well as for increased security they estimated at over $3,000.

“You already struggle and then that happens and then you hesitate if you're going to call your insurance company or not because you know your premium is going to go through the roof,” said Gaelle Cerf of Business Organization Des Quartiers du Canal.