‘Police are outnumbered’ says Okanagan business owner hit by theft

Maela’s Esthetics offering reward for stolen laptop and suggestions for increased safety

Two suspects were caught on video surveillance behind Maela’s Esthetics following a break-in Saturday morning. (Maela’s Esthetics photo)

A downtown Vernon business devastated by a recent break in, says the community needs to reclaim its city.

Maela’s Esthetics and Hair by Samantha Marie was broken into around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. A window was smashed at the shop, in the 3000 block of 30th Street, and an ASUS laptop was stolen and a grey cash box was reported missing.

Video surveillance shared to Facebook showed two suspects walking down the back alley, “tucking my laptop back into their backpack,” shortly after the time of the incident, owner Maela Bru wrote in a post.

She is so desperate to get the laptop back she is offering a reward.

“It has our salon software on it, which is useless to anyone but means everything to us. We can’t make any income without appointments and our clients contact info,” said Bru, adding the laptop still had the stickers on it and was like new, but thieves failed to get the charging cable.

“This is my worst nightmare.

“We are completely lost without it and unable to book appointments,” she said, adding while they have been downtown for six years without any problems, this is the latest in a series of unfortunate events for the local business.

Earlier on Friday, Bru chased someone off who was, “literally packing a crack pipe outside our door.”

Add that to the endless garbage and empties she picks up outside and tags from stolen property in the back alley, and Bru is fed up.

“I was born here, it used to be totally different,” she said.

Even the RCMP officer who attended the scene said aside from putting bars on her windows and having surveillance, there’s not much business owners can do.

“The police officer was even like, ‘we get these calls every day.’ There’s just really nothing they (police) could do. These people (thieves) know that, they know there’s no recourse.”

Bru suggests Vernon looks at what other communities are doing to deter and prevent crime.

“There’s different cities that are putting cameras on the streets,” she said, questioning why Vernon hasn’t looked into that.

While there used to be groups such as the Okanagan Community Watch and Polson Avengers, both have since disbanded, but Bru would like to see similar efforts reborn in Vernon.

“There’s lot of cases in communities where they get groups of people who walk around town, just to have a presence,” she said. “The community needs to step up because the police are outnumbered.”

In the meantime, while Bru panics to try and determine what bookings she has, she urges clients with any upcoming appointments to call or email the shop.

RCMP have investigated but have not identified any suspects in relation to the break in.

READ MORE: Suspect arrested in brazen Vernon armed robbery

READ MORE: Man charged in armed robbery of Salmon Arm liquor store opts for jury trial


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke skiers bring home three gold medals from BC Winter Games

The games were held in Fort St. John Feb. 20-23

Grizzlies playing Kamloops in round one of playoffs

They finished the regular season with 39 wins and six losses

Snow tonight in Revelstoke area

Roads and weather for Feb. 23

Liam’s Lowdown: Revelstoke’s ‘trashy’ future

The CSRD peg the cost of the new composting facility at roughly $500,000

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read