Brian Yoon and Ivy Ha had the door of their Parksville business covered with wood after it was vandalized twice. (Michael Briones photo)

Owners wonder if race played a role after Parksville business vandalized twice within days

Owners believe they may have been targeted because they are Asian

The owners of a business in downtown Parksville are upset their place has been vandalized twice, just days apart.

Brian Yoon and Ivy Ha, who own Ivy Nails & Spa located on Morison Avenue in Parksville, believe their business may have been targeted because they are Asian.

Yoon said the first incident took place May 13, when the window pane of the door to the the business (closed due to COVID-19 restrictions) was smashed. At that time, Yoon said, he thought it was just a random act of vandalism, The windows were replaced immediately with insurance covering the cost.

Two days later the same window pane was again smashed. That has left Yoon and Ha, immigrants from South Korea and Vietnam, respectively, feeling disappointed and seriously concerned. They wonder why their business was hit, with others around them not affected.

READ MORE: B.C. minister says she ‘cannot remain silent about increase in anti-Asia hate crimes

They did not report the vandalism to police at first. Being new to the city and having opened up the business just a year ago their friend, Dustin Fee, said they don’t know what the procedures are. They eventually called the police after the second incident.

“The police investigation is ongoing as we check for nearby businesses surveillance footage,” said Oceanside RCMP spokesman Cpl. Jesse Foreman. “However, there are currently no suspects.”

Foreman said there is no indication this was a hate crime and/or racially motivated but it has not been discounted as a possibility.

“We’re not going to discount it or say that it’s not that, but we can’t say it is that either,” he said. “We have no indication of anything beyond simple mischief.”

He said 20 mischief-under-$5,000 cases have been reported to the detachment so far this month.

“I do find it suspicious that someone would vandalize the place two days apart,” said Fee. “If their intention is to steal something, there’s nothing here but nail polish and brushes. It’s really suspicious.”

Incidents of hate crime have been a growing concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. B.C.’s minister for multiculturalism, Anne Kang, expressed sadness by the recent increase in physical and verbal attacks, as well as a rise in vandalism.

Kang called for people to be kind and encouraged victims to report hate crimes to police.

Yoon and Ha have now added cameras to serve as a deterrent.

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