Vancouver restaurant owner robbed four times in past year warns small businesses – BC

A restaurant in Vancouver is another example of the challenges small businesses face with break-ins and vandalism in the city.

Since opening just over a year ago, Zarak by Afghan Kitchen in Mount Pleasant has been targeted more than four times.

The latest incident happened early Wednesday. Surveillance cameras captured the thief unlocking the lock on the front door at 3 a.m., then ripping the cash register from the wall and taking off.

« He checks the neighborhood, makes sure there’s no one there, he walks in and out in 30 seconds, grabs the cash register, » co-owner Hassib Sarwari said after the restaurant posted the video on social media. .

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In June, someone came in and detained the restaurant staff during the height of the brunch rush.

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« It was really scary actually. A gentleman coming in saying, ‘Give me all your money.’ And he went so far as to say, ‘I’m going to kill you if I don’t give you the money.’ we had a full restaurant.

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Vancouver police say they are aware of both incidents and recognize that similar burglaries and acts of vandalism are impacting already struggling businesses in and around the downtown core.

“It’s definitely an ongoing problem. It’s something we see all over the city. Whether it’s broken glass in storefronts or actual break and enters,’ said the Vancouver police constable. says Tania Visintin.

“We notice talking with people in the community that they no longer report them to the police. They don’t even report them to their insurance companies because it’s just a burden on them. So a lot of these small businesses are eating out of pocket. »

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Sarwari agrees, saying filing a police report adds extra work to a small business owner’s already long and busy day.

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Earlier this month, CityLux Boutique, a luxury clothing store, was targeted by vandals for the second time in recent months. They smashed the window but failed to get inside. The business, however, is out for thousands of dollars.

“It was really frustrating. Because I know what it entails, because it has happened to us before,” manager Kim Nguyen told Global News at the time.

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It’s a similar story to the nearby butcher shop, Sebastian and Co. The owner is frustrated with multiple break-ins and burglaries in a matter of weeks.

“It seems that people are caught and then released, and then there are no consequences. So what I mainly think is that there is no fear,” said Sebastian Cortez.

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Sarwari says the latest incident didn’t cost them a lot of money, but it will likely cost them upwards of $1,000 to replace the locks, buy a new register and hook it up to their system.

He doesn’t think his business is specifically targeted, and he sympathizes with those who feel the need to resort to crime, but also hopes the burglaries will stop.

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“We just wanted to raise awareness that this could happen to anyone at any time. We just wanted everyone to be safe and just look at their process and safety procedures.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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