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Antique store break-in partially thwarted by smoky security system

Click to play video: 'Antique store break-in partially thwarted by smoky security system' Antique store break-in partially thwarted by smoky security system
An Edmonton antique store owner is cleaning up after a vehicle was used to break into his business for the second time in two years. But as Sarah Ryan explains, he's crediting his unique smoke cloak security system with protecting his products. – Nov 23, 2020

An Edmonton business owner says a smash and grab theft at one of his antique shops could have been a lot worse if it weren’t for his unique security system.

Clinton Beck has been in business for 35 years at Beck Antiques, operating three stores — two in Edmonton and one in Leduc. He said in his line of work, thefts are common.

“Unfortunately in this business, we are a high risk target, so we are attacked regularly.”

Early Monday morning, he was startled awake by a phone ringing.

“We get a phone call at 3:33 in the morning from Dragon’s Breath security notifying us that our store on the south-side had been compromised,” Beck explained.

“As we were driving here, the police phoned us and said a truck had driven into our store.”

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He arrived at his shop to see the front badly damaged.

The store Beck Antiques was damaged during a robbery on Nov. 23, 2020.
The store Beck Antiques was damaged during a robbery on Nov. 23, 2020. Supplied by Clinton Beck

“This one is the worst one yet, where they actually took out the entire front of the store, so there’s substantial damage to the building as well as our beautiful antique showcases.”

Beck estimates damage to be between $25,000 and $50,000 — even though the thieves didn’t get away with many items.

READ MORE: Edmonton jewelry store owner hopes to smoke out any future thieves

After reviewing his surveillance footage, he said his Dragon’s Breath smoke cloak security system worked as intended.

“Instantly the store started filling up with smoke and you can see it disorientated the intruder right away,” Beck explained.

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In total, he estimates they only escaped with about $500 worth of merchandise.

“They took a rocket launcher casing — it looks like something you’d see in a movie, but it’s really just a plastic tube – there’s nothing inside it. And they also took a WWI sword and we think a little silver box possibly as well – so really nothing to speak of.”

Clinton Beck says a sword was stolen during a break in at his antique store on Nov. 23, 2020.
Clinton Beck says a sword was stolen during a break in at his antique store on Nov. 23, 2020. Supplied by Clinton Beck

Beck said he doesn’t think the intruders knew that his really valuable items are put away overnight, or the extent of his security measures.

“Everybody in town seems to know about our security systems and I have no idea why somebody would even try to rob us, we’re probably one of the hardest targets in the city,” he said.

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WATCH: Edmonton jewelry store beefs up security with smoke device

Click to play video: 'Edmonton jewelry store beefs up security with smoke device' Edmonton jewelry store beefs up security with smoke device
Edmonton jewelry store beefs up security with smoke device – Sep 14, 2018

Despite the fact that only three items were taken, Beck said it’s always a hassle to deal with a break in.

“We’ve got bins of broken glass, it knocked over our good luck statue here – and broke it.”

The crash also broke a few of Beck’s antique showcases, which he said he collects.

Edmonton police said they are still looking for suspects. No arrests have been made.

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