‘A total sinking feeling’: At least $16K worth of leather jackets stolen in Calgary smash and grab

Click to play video: 'Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise stolen in smash and grab' Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise stolen in smash and grab
WATCH: A brazen smash and grab from a Calgary motorcycle showroom was caught on video early Tuesday morning. Blake Lough reports – Jan 30, 2019

An investigation is underway after thieves took at least $16,000 in merchandise from a northeast Calgary motorcycle business early Tuesday morning.

Police confirmed they received reports of a break and enter in which clothes were stolen in the Greenview area at around 2:40 a.m.

Vince Aiello, the general manager of Indian Motorcycles of Calgary, said thousands of dollars in leather jackets and apparel were taken from his store. It’s the third incident in as many years with an estimated $70,000 worth of goods stolen overall.

READ MORE: RCMP warn business owners after spike in ATM thefts in Calgary, surrounding areas

The manager said he was alerted by his security company after two masked men threw a rock through the shop’s doors with enough force to damage a motorcycle. Aiello said it appeared they knew exactly what they were doing, making a beeline for high-end jackets valued from $200 to $700 each.

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“They grabbed armfuls of leather jackets… and headed back out with them as quick as they came in,” he said.

“The guy’s got an arm like a baseball player, that’s for sure.”

WATCH: Surveillance footage shows a smash-and-grab robbery at Indian Motorcycles of Calgary on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'CCTV footage shows smash and grab at Calgary motorcycle shop' CCTV footage shows smash and grab at Calgary motorcycle shop
CCTV footage shows smash and grab at Calgary motorcycle shop – Jan 29, 2019

Out of pocket

The bike company has five stores in Alberta.

“Unfortunately, being one of the biggest power sports dealers we’re also one of the biggest targets,” Aiello said. “Our deductible is $25,000, so this is 100 per cent coming off my bottom line. This is money from my kids’ education. It’s pretty tough to take.”

He’s frustrated, and wonders where the merchandise will end up, since it can be easily sold and is desirable beyond Calgary’s markets.

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“It’s a total sinking feeling,” he said. “To have to absorb something like this is pretty devastating.”

Aiello said police did a good job, but there is not a lot they can do.

“Their hands are tied,” he said. “They’re sympathetic but it doesn’t do much for us.”

Vince Aiello, the general manager of Indian Motorcycles of Calgary, holds the rock that was thrown through his shop’s doors in a smash and grab on Tuesday morning. Global News

Smash and grab investigations

Sgt. Doug Crippen said smash and grabs are common in Calgary — they can be targeted or crimes of opportunity, organized or not.

“There’s not really one recipe for each break and enter,” he said. “It’s all different. It’s motivated by different money, drugs, profit.”

“With many commercial break and enters, they’re both opportunistic and sometimes people are actually going out and doing some work and breaking in after they’ve done some background on the business,” he added.

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At least $16,000 worth of leather jackets were stolen from a motorcycle shop in Calgary on Tuesday. Courtesy: Indian Motorcycles of Calgary

Crippen explained that an online unit is investigating incidents of stolen property, everything from residential to commercial thefts.

“We work with a number of people [including the public and RCMP] to try to identify where the product came from,” Crippen said. “Where is it going?”

He said stolen goods usually end up stored in drug houses, sold online or shipped elsewhere.

Prevention is key

Crippen had prevention ideas for businesses to consider: remove ladders, ensure locks and alarms work, cut back trees and shrubs, boost lighting, increase security patrol, record as many serial numbers as possible and invest in a video system.

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“Think about how a criminal could get in, how could they extract that piece of property, how could they remove it from the property,” Crippen said.

“You want to make sure that people can see all different angles so if anybody goes onto that property that they’re quickly seen.”

Security measures that work for one organization might not work for another — it has to fit a company’s needs. Crippen said surveillance footage is becoming more cost-effective.

“[Video] fills in those little gaps in the story and allows us to present the best evidence for court purposes.”

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