• Thursday , 1 December 2022

Peachland Liquor Store break and enter

A still of video surveillance footage taken Monday morning.

Joanne Layh

A suspect who allegedly broke into the Peachland Liquor Store Monday morning left empty handed only seconds after making their way through the walls to get inside.

The incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning and was captured by a video camera inside the building. The video surveillance footage, which Menconi’s partner posted to social media, shows a person appearing to emerge from out of the corner and crawl across the floor before adjusting a computer monitor and taking a kick at something.

Store owner Eric Menconi believes the suspect was targeting cash on the premises.

“He kicked the safe, but it’s bolted down. He was in for literally 30 seconds,” Menconi told the View. “I think he wasted too much time because he went into the furthest point unit where Steve’s going to lease it out, broke into that wall and realized he wasn’t going to hit the liquor store, so he went out, broke in through the other door, and then went through our wall. Then he came in, realized he didn’t have a chance to do anything, and he just took off again. It was like, really, you did all that work and I’ve got liquor in here, and smokes in here, and he just walked out?”

The “Steve” Menconi referred to is part owner of Budding Creations, Steve Allison, who is currently renovating the south end of the mall for his cannabis business’ second Peachland location. According to Menconi, the intruder was also unsuccessful in obtaining anything from the future cannabis store as they didn’t have any tools or valuables on site.

RCMP Cst. Mike Della-Paolera confirmed there was nothing reported stolen from either business.

Menconi said this is the second time his wall has been breached in the same spot.

Having the units next to him unoccupied hasn’t helped, suggested Menconi, who says he expects the cannabis store will bring significant additional building security to the mall.

“There was always someone beside us. Once everyone left there, there was no security on those empty units so they just busted through that side,” he said. “I never had issues with going through walls until there was nobody in that unit anymore . . . it is what it is, I guess. At least they didn’t get anything.”

Menconi isn’t confident that security cameras at the mall will be very helpful in locating the suspect.

“Nine times out of 10 the vehicle was stolen or the licence plates were stolen, so it’s a no-win situation. But at the end of the day, they didn’t get anything. So if we have to patch a hole in the wall and that’s the biggest thing, then fine.”

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