Craig Street’s Impeccable Jewellery had a rock thrown through one of its windows in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, and thieves managed to steal some jewelry. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Craig Street’s Impeccable Jewellery had a rock thrown through one of its windows in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, and thieves managed to steal some jewelry. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Owner fed up after downtown Duncan jewelry store broken into — again

Impeccable Jewellery has had seven similar incidents in recent years

Brad Lee knew something was wrong when he was woken up at 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9 with his phone ringing.

Lee, owner of Duncan’s Impeccable Jewellery, said the call was from a security firm informing him that his store had been, once again, broken into.

He said he headed immediately to the store to find that someone had managed to throw a rock through one of the window panes, which were reinforced with special film to give them extra strength.

“They managed to break a hole in the window pane just big enough to get their hands through, and then smashed the glass top out of one of our display cases and stole two chains and two pendants that were worth more then $2,000,” he said.

“The RCMP were here within 90 seconds of receiving the call, but no one has been caught yet. We have video surveillance in the store but not on the outside so we couldn’t provide the police with any video of the incident. I spent three hours cleaning up afterwards, so I didn’t get much sleep.”

RELATED STORY: THIEVES SMASH THEIR WAY INTO MAGPIES ANTIQUES IN CHEMAINUS, STEALING $30K IN JEWELRY

Lee said he has insurance, but getting the insurance companies to cover the losses is always challenging.

“Insurance companies just don’t want to pay, and, while it may not be true of the whole sector, it’s been my experience that they will do whatever they can not to pay,” he said.

Lee said the store is no stranger to these types of crimes, and he has been broken into or robbed seven times in the seven years he has had the store in operation, with most of the incidents increasing in numbers in recent years.

“This has happened twice in the last five months, and the last time it was a bigger rock that cost more money to replace the glass,” he said.

“Each window costs $1,100. The reinforced windows are not as good as steel bars, but they [steel bars] look like hell and that’s not what I want my store to look like. It’s very frustrating.”

In July, 2019, Lee ended up in a foot chase through the streets of downtown Duncan after a thief had taken a watch from a display case from the store and ran out the door.

The thief pulled a knife on him during the pursuit, but Lee kept up the chase until the police intervened and arrested the man.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN JEWELRY STORE STAFF CHASE DOWN THIEF IN SECOND ROBBERY OF THE DAY IN CITY

“That guy got just three months and free food the whole time,” he said.

“There are a number of low-lifes around here who continue to do this and the situation is getting worse. The city had security in downtown Duncan last spring in the early days of the pandemic and there were no problems during that time, but it got bad again when that stopped.”

Lee said he’s considering installing roller shades, a type of roll-down steel door, over his windows at night, or just moving out of the downtown core altogether.

“We are all fooling ourselves by thinking that we have this nice quaint downtown, but that’s not the case,” he said.

“I’m thinking about putting up a sign that says ‘Our prices are so low, you don’t have to steal it’. I have to laugh at something I guess.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.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

The intersection at 10th Avenue and Dunbar Street. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Safety improvements planned for Port Alberni intersection

10th Avenue and Dunbar Street is an “intersection of concern” based on incident data

Members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations conducted two checkpoints on Monday, May 10, asking people who enter the territory to respect the sacred principles and to act accordingly while on Huu-ay-aht land. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Huu-ay-aht First Nations set up checkpoints in territory

Access restrictions come after forestry incidents

Bulldogs forward Brandon Buhr is knocked off the puck by Grizzlies defenceman Lindsay Reid. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs beaten back-to-back by Victoria Grizzlies

Victoria Grizzlies named Island Champions while Bulldogs take second place

In 1903, if you were looking north down First Avenue with Alberni in the distance, this is what you would have seen. Scattered houses along River Road are visible, as is the corner of Watson Block building in the lower lefthand corner of the photograph. This photo is part of the 24,000 online collection of the Alberni Valley Museum. View this one and more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN02975 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Historic street scenes of Port Alberni

Take a peek back in time with the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives

This photo shows Franklin River Camp "B" circa 1940. Logging was started in the Franklin River area by Bloedel, Stewart & Welch in 1934. This is one of 42 photos of the Franklin River area, donated together in an album put together by the donor's husband, Stanley Young. Young worked as a highrigger in the Franklin River area from 1939-46. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN10830 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Logging along Franklin River

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read