Greater Victoria neighbourhood concerned as trio of businesses robbed, burgled

Tina Taylor looks through the broken glass of the front door at her business, Buttons’n’Bows Fabric Store, which was broken into sometime over the Halloween weekend. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Tina Taylor looks through the broken glass of the front door at her business, Buttons’n’Bows Fabric Store, which was broken into sometime over the Halloween weekend. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Meredith Wainwright is the owner of Dean Heights hair salon, the fifth owner of the business that dates back to the building’s original construction on Foul Bay in the 1960s. Her shop was broken into on Oct. 20 with an iPad and money stolen. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)Meredith Wainwright is the owner of Dean Heights hair salon, the fifth owner of the business that dates back to the building’s original construction on Foul Bay in the 1960s. Her shop was broken into on Oct. 20 with an iPad and money stolen. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)A trio of businesses in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road were all broken into or had an attempted robbery in the last 11 days of October. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
The front door of Tomley’s Market was smashed out during a robbery attempt when the owner blocked the thief from exiting. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)The front door of Tomley’s Market was smashed out during a robbery attempt when the owner blocked the thief from exiting. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

A trio of business owners is alarmed after their shops were the targets of a brazen armed-robbery and two break-and-enters within 11 days.

All three businesses are from the strip of buildings in the 2900-block of Foul Bay Road, a commercial block that’s been there since the 1960s. The three businesses, Tomley’s Market, Dean Heights Hair Salon, and Buttons’n’Bows Fabric Store, are next door to each other.

A knife-wielding man attempted to rob Tomley’s market at about 7:45 p.m. on Halloween (Saturday) night. While it was the most dangerous of the three thefts, the owner, who didn’t want to share his name out of concerns for personal safety, thwarted the theft and tackled the man, pinning him until Oak Bay police arrived shortly after and arrested him.

“He tried to stab me, and he told me [many times] he would come back and stab me,” said the owner, who believes the 43-year-old lives nearby. “I screamed for help, nobody helped.”

READ ALSO: Break-and-enters have doubled this year in Victoria

Oak Bay Police Chief Ray Bernoties said that while police discourage people from fighting with armed individuals over money there was no doubt that the actions of the store owner lead to the suspect’s arrest and return of the money.

The suspect lurked in the store as a shopper wearing a COVID mask before he confronted the owner with a knife. The man passed a black garbage bag to the owner and requested he fill it with the cash from the till, which he did. But then the owner fled outside and blocked the thief from leaving through the door from the outside. When the thief tried to stab the owner, the owner was cut on the finger but avoided a much worse injury.

Police later released the suspect on conditions.

Although the cash was recovered from the thief, the family that runs the store is feeling uncomfortable and unsafe knowing he was released.

At some point throughout Halloween weekend, there was also a break-in at Buttons’n’Bows Fabric Store. The thief used something to break the front glass door and open the lock.

Owner Tina Taylor didn’t know the store had been entered until she arrived Monday morning.

“I didn’t even notice until I was at the door,” said Taylor, who has owned Buttons’n’Bows for three years.

The people who live upstairs go into a door next to the store and didn’t notice the damage when they came home Sunday night, and Taylor didn’t notice until she was about to put her hand on the doorknob.

“I found the door smashed and the cash register was all over the ground and the cash [$300] was gone,” Taylor said.

Adding insult to injury, the damage and cash loss is too small to bother claiming on insurance, Taylor noted.

“I didn’t really expect it, nothing like this has happened here before but someone or some people in the area are hitting these businesses,” she said.

READ ALSO: Store-owner fends off knife-wielding robber in Oak Bay

READ MORE: Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

About 11 days earlier, on Oct. 20, someone entered Dean Heights hair salon through the back door.

“They took an iPad and cash,” said salon owner Meredith Wainwright, who recently bought the business and has worked there for 12 years, since she was 19.

Wainwright is a lifer in the area, having had her first hair cut at the same salon when she was two years old.

“As far as I’m told, there’s never been any break-ins in this block since it opened in the 1960s,” Wainwright said.

Wainwright has purchased security cameras and Taylor said she is going to do the same, while also removing cash from the cash register at day’s end.

”It’s very disappointing to see the increase in commercial break-ins,” Bernoties said. “We have also seen an increase in residential break-and-enters in recent months.”

Since the uptick in break-ins, police have been conducting additional patrols using unmarked vehicles and bikes.

“We’re very aware that it only takes a couple of prolific offenders to commit many crimes,” Bernoties said. “We’re asking the public to call us if they see anything suspicious.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bay

Just Posted

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Another ‘deplorable’ Port Alberni property slapped with remediation order

Wintergreen Apartments and the impromptu trailer park in its grounds attract city attention

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Alberni man gets four years for multiple sex assault charges

Colin Robert Hall was found guilty in the Port Alberni Law Courts

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Suspected sought in attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit investigating

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

Most Read