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Expensive shades targeted in Penticton Bike Barn break and enter

An early morning break in at the BIke Barn on Westminster Avenue netted thieves $10,000 worth of sunglasses as well as a bike on Monday morning, March 13, 2017.
March 14, 2017 - 1:32 PM

PENTICTON - A well known Penticton business was victimized by a thief or thieves early yesterday morning.

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Ted Manchulenko said at least 20 pairs of Oakley sunglasses were stolen from a locked display case at The Bike Barn in an early morning theft that set off alarms at 3:56 a.m. March 13.

Manchulenko said a purple fat bike which had been stolen and returned to the Bike Barn previously was also taken for a second time.

“There was a mess inside the building as well,” Manchulenko said, adding the police arrived at the 300 Westminster Ave. location within minutes.

That observation was echoed by Bike Barn owner Will Pratt, who talked about the theft Tuesday, March 14.

“From our perspective, it’s just one of those unfortunate aspects of life you have to deal with. The police got here super fast, as a business owner I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.

“I estimated yesterday morning at 4:30 a.m. about 20 sunglasses were taken, but I think it was somewhere between 30 and 40. I figure between the sunglasses and the bike, the total value was just north of $10,000,” Pratt said, after spending Monday cleaning up and taking inventory.

Thieves smashed a display case containing expensive Oakley sunglasses at the Bike Barn early Monday morning, March 14, 2017.
Thieves smashed a display case containing expensive Oakley sunglasses at the Bike Barn early Monday morning, March 14, 2017.
Image Credit: Facebook image

Pratt believes the suspects may be the same ones who broke into The Bum Wrap on Main Street a few weeks ago.

“I could be wrong, but my guess is it’s the same people. I think it was a specific mission to get in here and clear out at least one sunglass case,” he said, noting once they had broken in and set off the alarm, they knew they wouldn’t have a lot of time.

“It might be one of those things where it’s an easy item to get out of the shop quickly rather than trying to steal a bicycle, which also has a serial number,” he said.

Pratt said marks on the display case indicated the thief or thieves broke the doors off the sunglass case and appeared to have swept the sunglasses into a bag.

“The bike they took was basically in their path near the doors they used to get in. It was maybe more a theft of opportunity, being close to the door,” he said.

The bike was a Bike Barn rental that had been previously stolen while in the possession of a customer. Police were able to retrieve it and return it to the Bike Barn, where it was in the repair shop for a checkover when thieves grabbed it Monday morning.

The suspects broke in through a door in the shop that had a shelving unit propped up against it.

“They popped the doors on that, the door swung out, and they probably saw the shelving unit and just kicked it over,” Pratt said.

Police continue to investigate a store surveillance video of the break in.

Pratt says Monday’s incident was the first successful break in in 15 years.

“There had been a couple prior to that, a long time ago. There have been a couple of attempts to get into the building since then, but they weren’t successful,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it was just our turn,” Pratt said, adding he’s spoken to other business owners in the city to discuss things they might do on their own to help secure the downtown.

Thieves knocked over a shelf during a break in at The Bike Barn on Monday morning, March 13, 2017.
Thieves knocked over a shelf during a break in at The Bike Barn on Monday morning, March 13, 2017.
Image Credit: Facebook image

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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