Oliver, B.C. RCMP is investigating a rash of break-ins throughout the downtown area.
Over the past month, RCMP have been called out to around a dozen break-ins, with the most recent being on Sunday.
Thieves have targeted many local businesses and the Oliver Recreation Centre.
“The community of Oliver has experienced a huge increase in commercial break and enters over the past six weeks,” said Oliver RCMP Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth.
“It’s very concerning to the citizens business owners and the Oliver RCMP.”
Police say they have been identify some suspects and have made arrests in connection to some of these cases, but continue to gather evidence.
“There’s video evidence that we have obtained, we have DNA evidence, we have fingerprint evidence. It’s just a matter of time of piecing all these things together to verify and identify of who it is,” said Wrigglesworth.
“And I can assure the community that they will be caught.”
Big Al’s Bakery & Deli was one of the businesses that were broken into over the weekend, for the second time this year.
“The glass was shattered on our front door. He obviously opened the door, came in, went straight to the till kind of rummaged around this till area looking for some loose change or whatever,” said Brogan.
“And then he just left a mess. So much mess, we don’t even know if anything was taken.”
According to RCMP, these incidents are very consistent where the person is causing more damage to get into businesses than the value of what is actually being taken.
Wrigglesworth said the break-ins are also consistent with “supporting a person’s habits.”
“It obviously takes away from your bottom line and the health of your operation because you know that money you need to pay your employees, pay for your inventory and be able to continue to operate. So, every time something like this happens, it’s just money out the door,” said Brogan.
“They’re trying to live I guess, but it’s costing everybody. It’s frustrating, frustrating for everybody in town because unfortunately this kind of vandalism – it’s a cost to do business.”
RCMP are reminding business owners to ensure their properties are secure by checking that the alarms, security systems and cameras are activated and working properly.
“Our officers will continue to investigate and bring the suspects before the courts,” said Wrigglesworth in a statement.
“In the meantime, I ask that the community be diligent and watch your and your neighbours’ properties and to report suspicious activity.”
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