Thousands of dollars in merchandise has been stolen from Hope businesses in the last week.
On Friday, Susan Hall arrived at work to find over $7,000 worth of liquor missing from her store as well as money from the Silver Chalice liquor store float. Overnight thieves had cut the telephone and cable lines on the roof, disabling the security system, and gained entry into the building through a smashed window off the pub patio. Hall said the security system and horn were also ripped out. She believes the thieves filled garbage cans in the store with the liquor and used a hand cart to transport the merchandise to their vehicle(s).
“It is very heartbreaking. This store is struggling anyway,” said Hall. “I have taken so many punches in this community with this business. This is just another thing that makes me have no desire in being a business owner.”
Even though she’ll be able to recoup the majority of the loss through insurance, Hall said she now has to pay the $2,500 deductible in addition to the upfront cost of restocking the shelves over the weekend.
Allsys Computers was also vandalized last Thursday at about 4:30 a.m. A display window next to the front door was smashed and several items behind the curtain were taken.
Owner Angus McDonald believes a man and woman were “scoping out” the store the day before the theft. A suspect was seen running away from the store wearing a black jacket and white sneakers. This is not the first time McDonald’s business has been targeted. He said there’s been three reported incidents in the last couple years.
“I would be very surprised if I get the items back,” said McDonald. “At this point in time, I want something to happen with the crime in this town because it’s escalating.
“Every time something like this occurs, I have to try and figure out a way to recoup my losses. The only way I can do that is to pass it on to the customer. So everybody pays for this one way or another.”
Anyone with information regarding these thefts is asked to contact Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.
Last Thursday was a busy day for Hope RCMP. Police also arrested four people from Burnaby last in connection with stolen Telus wire.
Police conducted a traffic stop at about 8 p.m. on a pickup truck that had exited the Richmond Hill forest service road. In plain view was 180 kilograms of Telus wire cut to fit the truck bed.
Two women, aged 35 and 49, and two men, aged 39 and 51, were immediately taken into custody.
They are scheduled to appear in Chilliwack Provincial Court on July 29. Each will face one count of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.
“The disruption of communications impacts access to emergency services including 911, is an economic loss to business customers who cannot process transactions, and is an extra cost in terms of money and resources required to repair the damage to the cable,” said Cpl. Len vanNiuwenhuizen, adding that the average cost of doing repairs is between $25,000 and $50,000.
“The success of this investigation reflects the good work by the two police officers and exemplifies the commitment to public safety by the Hope RCMP.”