Break-ins quadruple in Vancouver as stores shut for COVID-19
VANCOUVER -- A security guard is now posted 24/7 outside the Lululemon store in downtown Vancouver, and the building is covered in plywood.
“Somebody was trying to get in," the guard told CTV News Vancouver, adding that it wasn't the first time.
Since the location shuttered to help stop the spread of COVID-19, there have been three attempts to break-in.
“That’s why they just boarded it up," the guard said.
Across the street, three men were busy covering the windows and doors of the Coach store, while two others were tackling the Dior shop on Georgia Street.
“Every day or every two days, we board up more windows,” a carpenter said, wearing a mask.
Vancouver police confirm they are now seeing an average of four commercial break-ins a day. Normally, they only see one.
“Our patrol members are very aware of the increase," wrote Const. Tania Visintin in an email to CTV News. “They are maintaining a visible presence in the downtown core to deter criminals.”
Theft is also up in Victoria, were police are urging shopkeepers to remove all valuable from their stores.
“It’s not just as a result of COVID-19. Any opportunity they see, they will try to take advantage,” warns Victoria Chief Const. Del Manak.
Back in Vancouver, the Clearly store windows are covered and Acrteryx has stripped its Burrard location bare.
“Product has been stored as a security measure,” the company confirmed by email.
“Our property crime detectives are very active on this issue," Visintin said. "They have several investigative projects on the go in the hardest-hit areas downtown."