RCMP officers attend the scene of a break and enter at Vernon’s The Boardwalk Sunday, Dec. 16. (Chad Dietz photo)

Break in doesn’t halt holiday hopes at Vernon store

Owners hope to reopen by Tuesday, Dec. 18

With the looming holiday season, a local couple is looking to put the Sunday night break-in of their clothing shop behind them.

The Boardwalk, located at 2801-31st Ave., was broken into shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.

“Last night we were just at home decorating our Christmas tree and we got a phone call from the alarm company at about 10:40 p.m. last night that the alarm had gone off and (they) wanted permission to reset it. We thought it was a little strange, so we came down to check it out. And, sure enough, we were broken into last night through two of our front doors,” said owner Jenna Dietz.

“We came here and the RCMP were already here. I was at home with the baby so my husband (Chad) came down and checked it out. I came down afterwards. We had to clean up all the glass and board up the doors and try to lock it down as best we could.”

Upon her arrival on scene, Dietz said the image that appears in her mind is the spotlights from RCMP vehicles and the shattered glass windows. During clean up Monday, Dietz said she found glass near the back wall of the store.

“There was glass everywhere in the front entrance,” she said. “The shop was a bit of a mess, there was glass everywhere, clothing all over the floor, and a lot of valuable things from a locked up case were stolen.”

Related: Community rallies to clean up Vernon’s streets

Related: Downtown Vernon encouraged by council steps

Dietz said that they are still calculating their losses. The highest ticket item missing is a collection of Nixon watches. The couple is working with their insurance to find the best way to move forward with a claim.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP said suspects had fled the scene before their arrival.

“Once inside the business, the suspects targeted a glass display case containing the watches,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Cpl. Tania Finn.

The Boardwalk has been in its current location for about five years without incident. The building is equipped with extensive security camera equipment and 24-hour LED lights to illuminate all surrounding areas.

“We’ve tried to make it as safe as possible and this is the first time we’ve had an issue,” she said.

Over recent months, other Vernon businesses have been calling for improved safety and security in the downtown core.

In 2017, a major portion of the city’s budget went towards hiring six new police officers, five of which are now in place in the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP detachment. During budget deliberations for 2019, the City dedicated more than $68,000 towards its bylaw division.

Related: Vernon coffeehouse launches food drive after break-in

Related: Vernon council approves budget

“Council approved the seasonal bylaw enforcement program, it’s been successful,” said chief administrative officer Will Pearce of the summer program that has run for the past three years. “They said, ‘let’s make it permanent.’”

The Vernon bylaw office has recently moved to the downtown core for higher visibility and further safety and security projects are in the works.

However, Dietz said there is still work to be done.

“I think that they’ve done a lot. The Downtown Vernon Association had an incentive I think about a year ago where they were willing to have a grant for half of the cost of security camera setups. We already had cameras so we actually beefed up our security camera system through that grant, which was really helpful. We can get more angles on the building so it’s really surrounded now,” she said.

One possible area of improvement is outdoor lighting, Dietz said.

“If all of downtown did that I think it would be helpful and help keep people from hiding in nooks and crannies and giving the overall safer feeling downtown.”

Despite the break-in, Dietz said that they are keeping their spirits high and working towards reopening the shop as soon as possible.

“A big thanks to the RCMP — they’ve been very helpful in a stressful situation. Our insurance, through West Baron and Westland Insurance, Matthew has been amazing at helping us navigate through something that is completely foreign territory to us,” Dietz said. “And (thanks) to the community because they’ve been an outpouring of support and we’re really grateful for the love. It’s very touching and means a lot when this has been really stressful. It’s good to feel the love from the community and we certainly love them all back.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon student off to UBCM with council

Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Fulton Secondary, applied to attend annual convention

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

Vernon RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Vernon Vipers open BCHL training camp

Defending Interior Conference champs open pre-season slate Friday at home vs Grande Prairie (AJHL)

No costs as directed upsets Vernon councillor

Scott Anderson and council still waiting for as-directed costs on hiring private security firm

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read