Victoria e-bike shop down $20,000 after brazen scooter theft

Victoria e-bike shop down $20,000 after brazen scooter theft
WatchA Victoria business is trying to pick up the pieces after a break and enter. The shop owner's biggest complaint? Not one stopped to intervene. Kori Sidaway has more.

It’s a brazen theft in downtown Victoria, all caught on video.

“It’s a sickening feeling, you’ve got broken into yet again,” said Michael Besler, co-owner of Ride the Glide, an e-bike and scooter shop on Wharf Street.

Besler says last Wednesday, thieves broke into his shop for the fourth time in three years.

The whole heist was caught by a security cameras. First, one man peers inside, then two to three people, their faces concealed by masks and hoods go to work at around 5 a.m.

“It took them about another 40 minutes to actually get in and get the two scooters outside that little opening,” said Besler.

The scooter thieves concealed themselves with a shopping cart and a tarp, cut through a door panel, and kicked it in. They then squeezed themselves through the tiny opening and managed to leave with a pair of $8,000 scooters.

“These aren’t light scooters, they’re 150 pounds apiece, so they were determined to have them,” said Besler.

The full cost of damages and loss is pegged at more than $20,000, and while the shop does have insurance, the deductible is so high, they don’t expect much back.

“It comes off what we potentially could have made during the year,” said Besler.

The Downtown Victoria Business Association says break and enters in the downtown core, have become more frequent.

“I mean this has been a challenge for the last couple of years, and I know shop owners and their staff are frustrated,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “We’ve just come through a pandemic. Sales have been down. So for businesses to have to replace the windows that have been broken and the inventory. That’s money that they don’t have right now.”

For Besler, the theft is disappointing. But he’s mostly disheartened no one on their way to work stopped to intervene or call it in.

“Had someone made a call when all this had started, at the beginning maybe we wouldn’t be having this conversation and have a few of our most expensive scooters missing,” said Besler.

He’s hoping people pay more attention, next time they walk by something suspicious.

Security footage shows people breaking into the store and leaving with a pair of $8,000 scooters. (Photo submitted to CHEK News)

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Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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