The 49th Parallel Grocery General Store was broken into early last Wednesday morning. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The 49th Parallel Grocery General Store was broken into early last Wednesday morning. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Frequent thefts becoming an unfortunate sign of the times

Items stolen during 49th Parallel General Store break-in, one resident receives a rude awakening

It’s been another tumultuous week in Chemainus, with criminal activity continuing to spiral out of control.

The 49th Parallel Grocery General Store was broken into during the early morning hours last Wednesday.

“They broke a window, then broke into the office at the back,” said 49th Parallel’s Ron Neubauer.

“We’re still doing the investigation, still trying to piece things together.”

A few items were taken during the break-in. Thefts and break-ins are occurring far too frequently around all Island communities.

“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” added Neubauer.

Chemainus has been particularly susceptible, with many crimes – especially the theft of items from yards – going unreported to police.

One resident of Chemainus Road received a literal rude awakening early last week when a person forced their way into a home after midnight. Fortunately, neighbours helped to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation and police arrived on the scene to arrest a suspect.

Many community members are continuing to lobby for the formation of Block Watch groups in areas that haven’t organized one yet so neighbours can watch out for each other, especially in the later hours when most of the incidents are occurring.

People are growing tired of dealing with the criminal element that is plaguing neighbourhoods and the lenience with offenders who are often released quickly, only to re-offend.