A Mission, B.C. business owner is venting his frustration after thieves targeted his business twice in less than a week, making off with about $50,000 in outdoor power equipment.
What’s more, the group of thieves — who appear to be the same people — did significant damage to the building.
Both incidents targeting Prospect Equipment at 33320 Glasgow Avenue were captured on high-quality security video.
Owner Pascal Deissner said the first incident happened early in the morning of Sat. Nov. 9, when the theives, armed with a stolen pickup truck, pulled the metal gate off the business, smashed the glass, and made off with about $12,000 worth of goods.
“A number of generators, water pumps, chainsaws … all handheld outdoor power equipment,” he said.
The crew was decked out in dark clothing and wearing distinctive black and white masks.
Deissner made repairs to the business’ entry, but just days later, on Fri. Nov. 15, the thieves were back with another stolen truck, this time using it to gain entry.
“That is when they actually chained onto the doorway and they were able to take it literally right out of the framework of the building,” he said.
The second time, Deissner said the men were better prepared, and used bolt cutters to cut cables securing generators and other equipment — making off with about $33,000 in goods.
They also came armed with bear spray this time.
“Pretty ballsy, I gotta say,” said Deissner.
“I don’t know how to explain it. I never even gave it a thought that they would be back so soon.”
Deissner said he’s certain it was the same crew of thieves in both cases, based on their clothing, plan, and taste in make and model of stolen getaway truck.
Both incidents were reported to police by Deissner’s alarm company. Global News has requested more information on the investigation from Mission RCMP.
Deissner said his business is insured, but that the cost of dealing with the break-ins will still add up.
“I do think there probably comes a point where the insurance company raises the rates to where it will be unpalatable, but you have no choice,” he said.
“The theft of the product is upsetting, but it’s really more about the fact that the property damage that’s involved is just unbelievable, and its very time consuming.”
For the time being, Deissner has secured the front of the building by replacing the glass with plywood and a solid door.
He said he’s anticipating the thieves could be back, and is thinking about how to improve security further.
He believes the stolen goods will end up on the black market, where they’ll be purchased by people looking for a deal — a group of people for whom he’s got a message.
“If we’re willing to purchase products that come from maybe a sketchy background, or we’re not clear on where they came from, my suggestion would be don’t buy that product,” he said.
“Because at the end of the day, you’re encouraging the thieves to continue on with their ways.”
-With files from Jill Bennett