A Langford bicycle shop is facing rising insurance costs after continued break-ins have resulted in the theft of at least $30,000 worth of merchandise.
Last month, WestShore Bicycles had its fourth break-in within the last four years which one employee called its most brazen theft yet.
Shop mechanic, Kevin Wilson, says that thieves rammed the back of a truck into one of their entrances, breaking the glass. They then stole three electric bikes which Wilson says are worth over $30,000 in damages.
“This particular one was pretty bad,” said Wilson.
The shop’s previous break-ins mostly dealt with regular bikes and they have put up steel bars on the windows and doors to deter further incidents, but when a truck smashed its rear end through the front — there’s little that can be done.
The cost to replace the door? Around $10,000.
Wilson says now they have to look into other security measures.
“We got to think about cameras, we have to think about putting protective areas to maybe prevent this from happening again. It’s just constant,” said Wilson.
The West Shore Town Centre has been the site of recent disturbance calls. Last weekend, 11 calls were made to RCMP and they say a majority of them happened in and around the mall.
CHEK has reached out to authorities, but it’s unclear if there’s even a suspect in relation to this theft.
Following the incident, the West Shore Town Centre put up flower beds as a deterrent in front of the shop which would prevent a similar break-in. A representative from the mall was not able to comment, but in an emailed statement the property management company for the mall said that they are working closely with authorities.
“The safety and security of our retailers and guests is a main priority and our property team works closely with local law enforcement and security teams to support our retailers,” said Hannah Wanlin, QuadReal Property Group.
With insurance premiums rising, the shop is worried they’ll have to change the way they do business.
“We’re kind of in the midst of like, do we lock the bikes up? Do we not? We want people to be free when they’re in our store, to touch bikes, to pull them off the rack, to look at them, pick them for their weight. We don’t want to prevent that from happening,” said Wilson.
The shop hasn’t closed its doors since the break-in and Wilson says a large portion of staying open is the support from the community.
“We have a lot of customers come in just to apologize about what happened and feel for us and know that this has happened more than once. They are good customers,” said Wilson.
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