An early-morning break in at the Bike Barn Monday netted thieves up to $10,000 in high-end sunglasses and a bicycle.
Shop co-owner Will Pratt was awoken by a call from the alarm company at about 3:58 a.m. When he arrived five minutes later three RCMP vehicles were already on scene.
“The police got here super quick, but the thieves popped the lock on a door we do not use,” said Pratt later in the morning as he surveyed the damage. “They completely raided our Oakley (sunglass) case and grabbed a bike on the way out the door.”
He estimated about 30 or 40 pairs of the glasses were taken however, the cases on either side of, also containing different brands of sunglasses were not touched.
Ironically, the only bicycle taken, a purple Rocky Mountain Blizzard -50 valued at $3,500, had only recently been returned to the Bike Shop after it was stolen from a customer who had rented it.
The serial number of the stolen bike is G102870159.
“We had just got the damn thing back, we had just a call on Monday or Tuesday last week that the bike had been recovered and we went and picked it up at the RCMP station and had it in the repair shop over the weekend to have a look at it,” said Pratt. “It’s pretty distinctive, its got four-and-a-half-inch tires on it for riding in the snow.”
Pratt added he was surprised those who broke in did not take any of the other bicycles that were nearby.
“I guess maybe there’s good money in selling sunglasses that don’t have cases and boxes and maybe bikes are harder to sell but really at the end of the day they could have taken way more expensive bicycles out of the shop in the same amount of time as it took them to get the sunglasses,” he said.
Sgt. Andrew Baylis of Penticton RCMP confirmed the theft and said police are continuing to investigate. As of Tuesday police were still working to get images from the video captured at the scene. Meanwhile, owner and master locksmith Dale Fleming of Lock Works Inc. was also at the shop Monday morning to examine and try and repair the damage to the door.
“They (thieves) seem to be using better tools and they’re using the same MO (modus operandi) to break in and they know the weaknesses of the locks, and they’re busy,” said Fleming. “I’m not sure if these were out of town guys or what, but in the last couple of months we’ve just been jumping from call to call, break in to break in.
“They’re not finessing it they’re just bulldogging their way in.
They know what they’re doing as much as any criminal does, it’s more a matter of they know what they’re going after as opposed to knowing how to get past the lock because every door is different, but they seemed to pre-case the places because they’re going after specific products.”
Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious around that time or who has knowledge about the break in is asked to call Penticton RCMP at 250-492-4300 or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-8477.