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Downtown Vancouver clothing boutique targeted by vandals for the 3rd time since August

CityLux Boutique is among the downtown Vancouver businesses that have been targeted by recent break-ins.

On Monday night, Sunan Spriggs’s business was targeted for the third time since August.

Video captured by security cameras shows two men shattering one of the windows on the front entrance of her building.

"It's like again? It's just so frustrating,” she said, describing the moment she received the call.

Since opening her business on Howe Street in 2016, Spriggs has noticed a steady increase in what she calls a mental health crisis.

“Ever since they started moving individuals off of East Hastings (Street) into other pockets of the city, you started to see those behaviors on East Hastings popping up all around the city too,” she said.

She’s calling on local leaders to address what she believes is the root issue.

"I'm just so frustrated by the government systems in place and the fact that they’e not preventing crime, they're enabling it,” she said. "This city is perpetuating the addiction crisis, which leads to crime and vandalism by making it easier for these addicts to remain in a continual state of being in trauma, homeless, addicted and then having to commit some type of crime to get by.”

Almost daily, she says she is faced with an unsafe situation—whether it’s outside or inside her store.

"Right now the band aid solutions that they're applying, the decriminalization of drugs—yes it takes off the burden of the police and court systems, but it's not actually doing anything to help the addicts or to reduce crime or vandalism in this city," said Spriggs.

According to city councillor Brian Montague, it’s too soon to determine the impact of the decampment on East Hastings, but agrees there are larger issues contributing to crime in the downtown.

"Housing is a huge issue, addiction is a huge issue and mental health is a huge issue,” said Montague.

However, he says those majors issues aren’t something the city is able to tackle on its own, adding that the support of the province is needed.

"(Business owners) deserve to expect that when they leave their business and lock their business up at night time to go home, when they return in the morning to their business, it's not going to be broken in to,” he said.

Spriggs has had to adjust her locking-up process at night. She closes her store two hours early now, has added additional security cameras and lays an empty till near the front entrance—all in an effort to avoid more break ins.

"We're going to have to step up and look at other measures as well. We're looking at gates or some type of protection on the windows," she said.

Vancouver police are investigating, but no arrests have been made in connection to the break-in. Top Stories

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