When Norman Moore walked into his eatery, Big Pig’s Subs, Monday morning in Port Alberni, he was hoping to get out of the cold.
He knew something was wrong when the restaurant was nearly as cold as it was outside. He went out and kicked the side of his oil tank: empty.
Moore topped up his 1,100-litre tank, located on the side of his building by an empty lot, on Nov. 14, so there was no way he would have gone through that much oil in less than a month. The only explanation, he said, is that someone has been stealing it.
“I don’t know when they took it,” he said. “They could have taken it on the 14th and left enough in the bottom until it ran out.”
Moore suspects the oil was siphoned in stages, not in one large theft. He said the RCMP have told him they likely won’t be able to find the culprit. Although he is insured, his deductible is $1,000 — just under the cost of a full tank of oil.
“It’s going to put (me in) a financial crunch,” he said. “I’m out more than $1,100 out of my pocket.”
Times are already tough for Moore, whose wife and co-owner, Vicki, is undergoing treatment for cancer. The Moores have the business up for sale, and are presently entertaining an offer. But this theft is a real hit, he said.
“With the economic conditions right now that’s really affecting the bottom line.”
Moore said his tank now has a locking cap on it.
Edited for spelling