Business owners near Spall and Springfield roads are speaking out about the rise in crime in the area after their properties were vandalized and hit by thieves on Tuesday night.
Minit-Tune & Brake, La-Z-Boy Furniture and Pro Source all had their windows broken overnight.
Minit-Tune and Brake owner Mike Hlushko said he and his friend had their motorhomes parked behind his shop, which is fenced off and has security cameras. But that didn't stop thieves from getting in and smashing the windows of his motorhome, while gaining access to storage compartments on the other.
“The whole inside of my motorhome was ransacked. This is about the third time this year, and I’ve lost everything this time. They took all my stereo equipment, my flat-screen TV, generator, even the memory-foam mattress off the bed,” said Hlushko. “Very frustrated.”
Hlushko says the thieves may have used bolt cutters to cut a large hole in his fence, and from there, they were able to smash the windows of his motorhome, and pry the storage compartment door open on his friend's unit.
Hlushko is frustrated and wants the City of Kelowna to step up.
“There's nothing being done. One thing I would like to point out is that we’ve got this pandemic with COVID, well, the mayor of Kelowna Mr. Basran, you need to know we have another pandemic in this city, and its theft and homelessness,” said Hlushko. “A lot of us business people in this whole area are so fed up with it.”
La-Z-Boy Furniture gallery manager Ben Gwartney says all five of the businesses main windows were shattered. To try and put an end to some of the recent chaos, he's calling for more police presence in the area.
“It’s happened multiple times at this location. We’ve also had break-ins behind the building in our trailers, boats and whatnot, so, definitely a lot of people we don't want around. I also feel like we're not getting a lot of support from the powers that be, because there is a lot of crime that's going on, and I feel like we never see police,” said Gwartney. “More needs to be done.”
The business owners say RCMP are investigating the situation.