Man arrested for damaging 14 Victoria storefronts believed to have also stolen harbour ferry
VICTORIA -- More than a dozen Victoria business owners woke up Wednesday morning to find their stores had been damaged overnight.
Victoria police tell CTV News that a one-man rampage started just after midnight near Cook Street, and spanned across downtown, resulting in 14 locations being damaged.
An alarm at a multi-unit building in the 1700-block of Cook Street was activated at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Officers arrived to find the front door window had been smashed by a rock. Over the next few hours, officers found several other business locations with smashed windows.
“We do have a security guard here most of the time but not overnight,” said Jaymie Chudiak, head of animal care at the Victoria Bug Zoo.
“It just kind of makes me sad. Nobody likes seeing their place of work having their windows smashed in, especially when we are such a small business already struggling with COVID and there being no tourism,” she said. “It’s just sad that it will cost us more money.”
Just before 2 a.m., officers were alerted to a man smashing the windows of a restaurant in the 500-block of Pandora Avenue with a large wooden pole.
“About 2 a.m. this morning we were notified someone had done some remodeling work to our building,” said Mike Boyle, Swans Pub general manager.
He says about 20 windows at the local pub were smashed out. Many of the businesses affected, including Swans, say that nothing was stolen overnight.
“Our footage shows no one came into the building, just someone who wanted to hear the sound of breaking glass,” said Boyle. “It’s disappointing.”
While windows at the pub are currently taped or boarded shut, Boyle says that establishment plans to recover.
“We are going to fix it and keep moving forward,” he said.
Officers eventually arrested the suspect in the 500-block of Yates Street after he attempted to flee from police.
Police say they believe the damage was caused by the same man who stole a Victoria Harbour Ferry on Tuesday morning.
He is expected to appear in court on Wednesday for recommended charges of mischief and breach of an undertaking.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says she’s saddened to hear about the damage that was caused.
“It’s so awful to see all the unnecessary damage,” she told CTV News.
Helps says she’s also asked police why the man was released from custody if he is believed to have stolen the Harbour Ferry the night before.
In total, police have identified 14 stores that are believed to have been damaged by the suspect. Investigators say they believe more locations may have been damaged overnight. If your property was damaged, Victoria police ask that you contact them.
The locations of the 14 identified properties are: the 1700-block of Cook Street, the 1500-block of Cook Street, the 600-block of View Street, the 700-block of Broughton Street, the 600-block of Courtney Street, the 600-block of Yates Street, the 500-block of Pandora Avenue, the 1400-block of Store Street, the 700-block of Fort Street, two locations in the 1100-block of Blanshard Street and three locations in the 1200-block of Broad Street.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents is asked to call Victoria police at 250-995-7654 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.