Burglars broke into Home Hardware in Winlaw last Wednesday night, and owner Darren McCoy says the hunting and sporting gear stolen is worth about $7500.
“They took camo hunting shirts jackets and pants, hunting knives, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and ammunition,” McCoy said. And they attempted to steal a 600-pound safe, moving it outside with a dolly and then abandoning it, damaged.
“It was a fairly sophisticated entry and they were on the scene for quite some time,” Constable Nick Herder of the Slocan Lake RCMP told the Star, but he declined to elaborate until a forensics officer completes an investigation.
He said the burglars entered the store sometime after 2:30 a.m. when “the neighbours reported their dogs going crazy.” Employees discovered the break-in the next morning and are still carrying out an inventory of the losses.
McCoy said they also destroyed his video surveillance system and cut the phone lines.
“But what they didn’t know,” he said, “was that I had a trail cam set up in the store to catch shoplifters and the footage is at RCMP forensics now.”
Herder said the method of entry is similar to that in a July 24 overnight burglary of the Winlaw post office. In that case, the building was damaged and about $900 in cash was stolen.
Herder said the similarities, and conversations he has had with neighbours, have led him to suspect that the same people committed both robberies, and that they are local.
“If anyone remembers suspicious vehicles and pedestrians that night, we really need their help with this,” Herder said. The Slocan Lake RCMP’s phone number is (250) 358-2222.