Still dealing with the insurance nightmare after the first break-in that saw 50 statues stolen seven months ago, owners Al and Manon Kipp at Al’s Asian Treasures in Chemainus were the target of thieves once again this week.
This time, nine locally made cement statues were stolen after thieves cut a chain and lock to gain access.
“There’s nothing like feeling violated,” Manon Kipp said Wednesday. “It’s an ongoing thing,” she added. “The last year it seems to have been getting really bad.”
She noted at least two other businesses in the area have also struggled with criminals in recent history.
Earlier this month during a council meeting, North Cowichan councillor Joyce Behnsen asked Insp. Ray Carfantan, officer in charge of the North Cowichan/ Duncan detachment, if police were aware of the goings-on there.
“What is being done about the Chemainus industrial area? They’ve had quite a convergence of break-in and enters,” Behnsen said. “The business owners in that particular Chemainus industrial park area around Smiley Road and the Henry Road area and the highway have been very concerned for safety and losses through robbery and damaged property in the past few months and they’re feeling frustrated and don’t know which way to turn.”
Behnsen suggested more officers in the area.
“I’m just bringing it to light as something that was brought to my attention,” she said.
Carfantan said police are aware and working on it. He said they tend to know who is responsible but oftentimes limited resources hamper efforts to catch and charge them.
“As Nanaimo and Ladysmith push out their prolific offenders out of their areas…they find their way south, and, as we do the same, they find their way back up to Ladysmith and Nanaimo but we are hoping in that process that we are going to catch and reform some of those people so they get out of the crime cycle.”