Why these Vernon pizza shop owners are offering a job to the thief who broke in three times in 10 days - InfoNews

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Why these Vernon pizza shop owners are offering a job to the thief who broke in three times in 10 days

Nicolas and Marie-héléne Kynigos, owners of Nicolas & Marie’s Pizza, Pasta and Donair on 27 Street in Vernon.
April 09, 2018 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - After being broken into three times in 10 days, a Vernon couple is extending a job offer to the thieves.

Nicolas and Marie-héléne Kynigos, owners of Nicolas & Marie’s Pizza, Pasta and Donair on 27 Street in Vernon, are out thousands of dollars after a series of break-ins — all involving a rock thrown through the window — over the past week-and-a-half.

“The second time was like ‘does someone have something against us?’ and when it happened for a third time it was really traumatizing,” Marie-héléne says.

The first time, the thieves took the till, the second time, the tip jar, and the third time, they took a second cash register. Each time, the Kynigos kept the rocks that were used to shatter the glass, which was replaced twice and is currently boarded up.

“I kept the collection of pet rocks that went through the window on my place, and I’m planning on painting them and forgiving the crooks,” Nicolas says. “I’m offering them a job to pay off the $5,000 in property damage.”

And if the thief, or thieves, want to stay on after they’ve paid off their debt, the Kynigos say they’d offer the perpetrators a job and the chance to make an honest living.

Marie-héléne was initially angry over the thefts — she even wanted to leave Vernon — but after she calmed down, she just felt sad for whoever it was that broke in.

“I want to see these people face to face and hire them,” she says. “I have been on the streets myself before, in France. I was very sick, hospitalized. I lost everything in five months. I know what it is like to have nothing.”

Nicolas & Marie's Pizza is boarded up where thieves smashed the window with a rock, but they're still open and looking at the bright side.
Nicolas & Marie's Pizza is boarded up where thieves smashed the window with a rock, but they're still open and looking at the bright side.

The Kynigos say they’ve seen the best and the worst of the Vernon community over the past week. After the rash of break-ins, her son posted the story to social media, and they’ve been inundated with support ever since.

“So, bon, it gave us some courage to continue,” Marie-héléne says through a French accent.

There are too many people to thank, Nicolas says, but he wants to recognize his landlord for being patient with his rent this month, Midtown Bistro for rallying support, and Bean Scene, Universal Hair, the Foggy Frog and many anonymous donors for all getting behind Nicolas & Marie’s in its time of need.

“The way the community came together, I’m amazed,” Nicolas says.

The Kynigos themselves fundraise and give back to the community as much as they can; during the break-ins, for instance, they were running a campaign to raise money for a paralyzed children’s book author.

The Kynigos hope the perpetrators read this article and take them up on their job offer. They want justice, but they also want to see a better community.

Ironically, Nicolas & Marie’s is located in a strip mall called Justice Court Plaza, right across from the Vernon Law Courts.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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