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Vancouver Island jewelry dealer targeted by thieves for 22nd time – BC

A Vancouver Island jewelry dealer says he’s taking a hard look at whether he wants to stay in business, after being broken into yet again.

Jeff Ross, who owns Gold Silver Guy shops in Nanaimo, Qualicum and Duncan, said the break-in Tuesday night was his 22nd in 25 years and the fifth this year alone.

What’s more, this is the third time thieves have been able to get into one of his shops through an unconventional method, and one he has little to no defence against.

The thieves, he said, were able to break through a wall of concrete cinder blocks at his Qualicum location, before cutting out the security system and eventually breaking into the safe.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Island business owner fed up with repeated break ins'

Vancouver Island business owner fed up with repeated break ins

“They had ample time to empty the safe out,” he said. “At first glance, in excess of $60,000 without insurance.”

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It’s the second time this year that thieves have made off with over $60,000 in a break-in, according to Ross, who added no one will insure him anymore.

“At my age, that’s my retirement. So yes, it affects me and potentially the rest of the staff,” he said. “That’s all my life work gone in a few short minutes.”

Ross said police attended and took fingerprints, but his experience after so many break-ins is that no one will be caught nor any of his inventory recovered.

Click to play video: 'Nanaimo mayor addresses city’s chronic safety challenges'

Nanaimo mayor addresses city’s chronic safety challenges

He said he doesn’t blame police, but had strong words for the court system, which he believes is responsible for the rise in crime.

“The police do what they can,” he said. “But it comes down to a deterrent, a court system that is not stopping the criminals.”

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Increased community concerns about crime have spawned public safety rallies in multiple B.C. cities, including Nanaimo, Victoria, Penticton, Surrey, Prince George, Dawson Creek, and Kamloops. Ross has participated from Nanaimo.

The province has responded by pressuring the federal government to toughen bail measures and announcing a dozen new Repeat Violent Offending Intervention Initiative hubs, including in Nanaimo and Victoria.

In the meantime, Ross said he’s been left to ponder what to do next.

“It’s too early to say what my choices are, but when you get knocked down so many times it’s rather difficult to get up,” he said.

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