Kelowna car wash owner exasperated by theft and vandalism

Business owner exasperated

Madison Erhardt

The owner of Skogies car wash says he has reached his breaking point after his Underhill Road location in Kelowna was targeted Tuesday night.

Chris Skoglund says he has spent tens of thousands of dollars having to repair broken items this year that have been vandalized and destroyed.

“Every week they try to break into our vacuums. They think there is going to be a wealth of coins in there, in fact it is mostly free tokens that we give to our customers for free vacuum time. Last night was the final straw. I came in this morning and five of our vacuums have been destroyed. It is going to cost us several thousand dollars to repair and they are going to be out of commission for several weeks.”

Skoglund says the site used to be open 24 hours, but says it isn't possible now with the heavy crime in the area.

“The amount of damage and vandalism and theft is staggering. It is literally tens of thousands of dollars a year right now. We close up at night, we have security patrols, but nothing seems to work.”

Skoglund says one employee was recently poked with a needle while clearing up the garbage left from the night before.

“The frustration that we feel and I think all the businesses feel is that what is the city doing? What is being done to counteract this. It feels like we are just being left on our own to fend for ourselves. We pay our property taxes, we try to be good citizens, what is the city doing?”

Skoglund says he believes repeat offenders should be kept off the street.

“RCMP have been as helpful as they can be. They come and watch the video. We fill out the reports. They do what they do, but the same people are back on the streets all the time.”

Earlier this month, Castanet reported on three other business in the area that had been a target of vandalism. Minit-Tune & Brake, La-Z-Boy Furniture and Pro Source all had their windows broken overnight.

Castanet has reached out to the RCMP and the City of Kelowna for comment.

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