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Island jeweller can’t get insurance after repeated targeting by thieves

19 break-ins over 25 years in his Duncan, Nanaimo and Qualicum stores frustrate shop owner

Vandals struck again, stealing from the Gold Silver Guy commercial store on Station Street during the early hours of Thursday morning, July 27.

A witness working in the area who had seen the suspect flee by bicycle, said that a hammer was used to smash the left side window. The contents of three showcases near the window were taken. Store owner Jeff Ross, who lives in Nanaimo and does not work at this location, was notified at 6:20 a.m. by his alarm company that his store had been hit. He drove in to clean up the mess, and wait for staff to find out exactly what had been stolen.

“There were a lot of watches, and jewelry, and coins that were taken,” said Ross. “To what dollar amount it doesn’t matter because I don’t have insurance.”

READ MORE: Chemainus business hit with $100,000 theft of gold and silver items

This is the third time that Ross has had a break in at his 43 Station St. location in Duncan. Vandals broke in on the right side last October. Ross said the police caught the suspect from the last break-in but that the court date has been put off three times. Ross said he has had 19 break-ins in total over the span of a 25-year career.

“I can’t buy insurance, I’m at risk,” said Ross. “After I had a few break-ins, it didn’t matter the deductible, I was told I was too great a risk. They just won’t insure me.”

Ross said the film on the glass was able to keep it somewhat intact, but he estimates that the broken window and the film alone will cost substantially more than $2,500 while the estimated value of the silver jewelry, watches, and coins which were stolen is roughly around $3,000. The piece of glass required needs to be ordered in, so Ross said he will have to board it up for two weeks in the meantime, plus he has to fix the three showcases that were smashed. He is hoping the camera in his store will show a clear image of the suspect and that police once again will catch the person responsible. This will be a total loss for Ross.

“I also have locations in Nanaimo and Qualicum and they too have all been broken into,” said Ross. “Three months ago in Nanaimo, $63,000 gone. That time it was the alarm company who didn’t sync the system to the sensor, so they had all night to get in there.”

“I’m certainly fed up. Nineteen break-ins in 25 years is just horrendous. Why? It makes you discouraged, and make you wonder if it is even worth it, I’ve gotten absolutely nothing back in 25 years.”

After examining the video footage, Ross contacted said the suspect was wearing a hoodie, and ball cap but their face was not seen. He also got a phone call from a community member.

“He said he saw a homeless person in a field behind the food bank passed out with watches, coins and jewelry. I quickly drove over and called the police, and was able to recover two silver chains,” said Ross. “It was not the person who broke in so all they can charge him with is having stolen property. I don’t blame the police. I blame the courts and the justice system. They have nothing to fear and the items they stole will likely not feed their drug habits very long and yet I end up paying for their drugs with no benefit to me.

“He was very brazen to stand on the sidewalk at 6:20 a.m. and bang away with a hammer for over two minutes to gain entry. I am just fed up with being taken from over, and over. I can’t put into words my feelings; our society has certainly gone the wrong way. I was taught, if it’s not yours, don’t touch.”

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About the Author: Chadd Cawson

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