Urban Liquor Store on Gordon Drive robbed of nearly $1,000

Urban Liquor Store robbed

Two months ago the Urban Liquor Store opened along Gordon Drive and on Friday morning, the store was robbed. 

Business owner Riki-Lynn Boettcher who also owns two other Urban Liquor stores located in Guisachan Village and Harvey beside Choices Market is speaking out to warn other business owners while shedding a light on the reality of Kelowna.

"We moved into that neighbourhood downtown trying to clean it up," she says. "Took an old building, did some renovations and we're just trying to liven-up that whole downtown core."

On Friday morning at 9:45 a.m., a man entered the Gordon Drive location.

"We open at 9 o'clock. I had two staff members on, always two staff members on," says Boettcher. 

"[He] entered into the store. Didn't come in obviously looking to rob us, it was maybe a crime of opportunity. One of my staff members unfortunately was counting out some cash from the day before and was in an exposed area and I think he saw the cash and just saw it as an opportunity and he just went for it. He grabbed the cash and just ran."

The staff then pushed a panic button and called 911, however police did not attend right away.

"We were told that they just had a couple of other high-profile cases that they were working on and that they would try to get somebody as soon as they could," says Boettcher.

"It was a little bit disappointing cause he was in the area within eyesight actually. For probably about 20 minutes we could see him from across the street hiding so we could have caught him," adding she had hoped for a quicker response from RCMP. 

Boettcher says as a business owner in Kelowna, she has to advocate for herself.

"Keeping your garbage locked up, bright lighting, proper lighting, proper security - just making it more uncomfortable for them to get away with this," she says. "It feels like they just can walk in the door and take whatever they want whenever they want and they just know that there's no consequence. I'd like to see that change."

Boettcher believes crime has gotten substantially worse in the last few years as Kelowna grows.

"It's definitely worse. This Harvey store in particular - it was quite shocking to me when we came in here just how bad it actually is. We see a lot of needles, a lot drugs, a lot of the sad part of what goes on. We work really hard to keep our area clean and to keep our customers and our staff safe, but it was eye opening for sure."

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