A second break-in and theft from her business in 2020 has Maela Bru contemplating leaving Vernon’s downtown core.
The owner/operator of Maela’s Esthetics at 30th Avenue and 30th Street was alerted early in the morning Sunday, Oct. 11, that someone had bent some sheet metal behind her business, climbed over the metal, threw a rock through one of her eight windows, climbed in, stole a laptop computer, emptied her cash box and left.
All within a four-minute span and with a security alarm blaring away.
Bru, who shares a workspace with Hair By Samantha Marie, was also burglarized in February with the thief making off with the laptop, which keeps all her appointments and client information, and the cashbox.
“I’m sure it’s the same guy, it’s like he was here before, he knew what he was after,” said Bru on Wednesday, Oct. 14. “The RCMP were here quickly but he still got away.”
However, the suspect did leave some evidence behind: a cigarette lighter, crack pipe and Swiss army knife, which were turned over to the RCMP, hoping to lift some fingerprints off the items.
As of Wednesday, Bru hadn’t heard anything about her missing computer. In February, through family and word of mouth, Bru was able to buy back her stolen laptop.
“So, yes, they’ve stolen the same laptop twice,” she said. “I feel I’ll be lucky if I get it back again.”
The two break-ins, along with numerous encounters with Vernon’s street population, have Bru wanting to move out of the downtown.
“I can’t afford to leave,” she said. “Yesterday, a couple of druggies were screaming at each other in the alley by my business. I said, ‘Hey guys, keep it down or I’ll call bylaw, and one of them ran at me.
“I’ve come to work and found garbage from my garbage bin strewn about. I feel like I’m living in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.”
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP has a file on the theft. If anybody has any information on the crime, they are asked to call the RCMP at 250-545-7171, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip at www.nokscrimestoppers.com