Gary Petersen looks at one of the boxes thieves broke into to remove silver coins.

Thieves break through wall

Sooke store owner thought his premises were safe and secure

Gary Petersen is disheartened. He is surrounded with so many things that he loves. There’s the collection of knives, boxes, First Nations art and almost every collectible in-between. He opened Tale of the Whale to showcase and sell his collections and for the most part it’s been a really fun venture. But things and times change.

Brazen thieves broke into the local store by cutting through the gyprock wall to gain entrance. According to Tale of the Whale owner Gary Petersen, a back door of the strip mall was left unlocked and the thieves saw an opportunity.

“They were opportunists,” said Petersen.

After gaining entry shortly after midnight on December 15, the thieves made off with about $10,000 worth of jewelry, chains and silver coins.

Petersen said they must have been in the store and cased the place to know what and where items were.

He said they probably  tried the door, found it open, then went somewhere to get a cutting tool to get through the gyprock. The person entering the store was quite tiny and once in they opened the door for an accomplice.

The store is alarmed and the windows have bars on them, but no one foresaw someone going through the wall.

“I thought I was safe,” said Petersen.

He said he got a call from the alarm company and was at the store in 10 minutes but the thieves had made their getaway. He knows who stole the items but charges have not been made.

Police later recovered some of the items, but Petersen will still be out of pocket.

“This is our neighborhood and it should be a warning to other store owners, to me it’s annoying but people need to be more aware.”

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