Thieves smash their way into Magpies Antiques on Vancouver Island, steal $30K in jewelry

More than $30,000 in jewelry stolen

Liz Fincham and Jeff Knadle were rudely awoken at 4 a.m. Friday morning in their Vancouver Island home to the sound of a screeching alarm.

The couple, who own Magpies Antiques and Gifts on Willow Street in Chemainus, knew immediately that the glass alarm at the nearby store had been activated, signalling that a break in might be in progress.

They hopped in their car and rushed to the scene to find no one there, but their glass front door had been smashed in, and the interior of the store had broken glass strewn everywhere.

On closer examination, the couple discovered that four glass display cases had been smashed open and more than $30,000 worth of jewelry had been taken.

Among the stolen items are approximately 65 gold rings, a large number of cameos, silverware and an assortment of jewelry with an arrangement of precious stones in them, including amber and sapphire.

“I figure they must have staked out the place and knew exactly where everything was, so they were in and out of the store in about 10 minutes,” Fincham said as she picked broken glass out of one of the display cases shortly after 9 a.m.

“Glass is everywhere and it will take some time to take everything out of their cases to clear the glass away. I just want to cry and go back to bed. It’s been a long morning already.”

RELATED STORY: POLICE WARN OF SPIKE IN THEFTS FROM BUSINESS VEHICLES IN COWICHAN VALLEY

The couple have content insurance at the store, which they have operated for five years, but they won’t know if that covers jewelry until they can talk to their insurance adjuster.

Fincham said that, as well as the glass alarm, the store also has security cameras, but they were meant to be more of a deterrent to thieves as they were not plugged in.

She said Knadle was in the process of checking the outdoor security cameras of two nearby banks to see if they recorded any part of the break in.

RELATED STORY: EIGHT ARRESTED IN CHEMAINUS FOR DRUG AND PROPERTY CRIMES

“It’s the first time we’ve been broken into, and that’s very disheartening,” she said.

“There have been break-ins down the road recently, and the neighbours said they were carried out by men with masks on. The police were here just minutes after we first arrived on the scene and that’s really appreciated. I asked if they were going to look for fingerprints, but they said that won’t likely be helpful as the store is always full of customers touching things.”

Fincham said the store may have to be closed for a few days until the glass is repaired and all the inventory is sorted out.

“We’re feeling rather gutted and, right now, we just feel like closing the store,” she said.

“If people are approached by anyone trying to sell gold, silver of amber jewelry, please call the police and report it.”

A statement from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment asked that any neighbouring businesses who may have video surveillance or anyone with information about this crime contact the detachment, or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Alberni writer and poet to read at Words on Fire

Chelsea Comeau has her own freelance writing and editing business

North Island College hosting nursing info session

Info sessions will take place Monday, Jan. 27 at Port Alberni and Campbell River campuses

Photographer captures Port Alberni personalities in black and white portraits

Meet John Douglas, Courtney Naesgaard in double exhibit Jan. 18 at Rollin Art Centre

Alberni Valley Community Foundation opens grant application process for 2020

Nearly $30K available for Port Alberni-based charities

Stray cat with ‘serious burns’ recovering at Alberni SPCA

The BC SPCA’s Alberni-Clayoquot branch is asking members of the public for help with medical costs

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital back to normal after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Site of planned Jumbo Valley ski resort to be protected, managed by First Nations

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Most Read