Oak Bay Pharmasave a target for shoplifters

Shoplifting an ongoing burden for village pharmacy

The Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

The Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Shoplifting is an unfortunate reality for retail stores but the trend in thefts for the Oak Bay Pharmasave is one that has the store manager concerned.

On Friday, Nov. 13, Oak Bay Police apprehended two suspected shoplifters who were caught in the act in the Pharmasave in Oak Bay Village.

A 23-year-old man and a 17-year-old woman were arrested.

Store manager Jason Skrenka said the two actually apologized and showed remorse, offering to pay for the goods, which were returned to the store. They’ve subsequently been banned from the shop while the man was also taken into custody for breaching his conditions (he was carrying a concealed can of bear spray). The teenage girl was released with no charges.

READ MORE: Police issue warning after Victoria man scammed out of $6,000

It’s part of an uptick in brazen shoplifting incidents that Skrenka says are more conspicuous than previously.

“All types of people steal, [seniors] just as much as anyone, but lately it’s been a little ‘more scary’ for us,” Skrenka said. “It’s people with nothing to lose, who are often aggressive.”

Without trying to stigmatize, Skrenka said his staff can easily identify customers entering who are under the influence of drugs and, sadly, are easy to spot when shoplifting due to the effect of drugs.

“We have about 30 cameras in here and can spot a lot of things, it’s pretty clear why some people come here,” Skrenka said.

Overall, they’ve had an increase in negative encounters with shoplifters. But safety comes first, knowing what happened at the Home Hardware on Oak Bay Avenue in early August, when an employee was assaulted for attempting to interrupt shoplifters.

“I’m adamant that we don’t approach [shoplifters], it’s not worth risking the safety of our staff or others,” Skrenka said. “If we catch people, we ban them from the store.”

READ ALSO: Police investigating alleged assault at Home Hardware on Oak Bay Avenue

The Pharmasave incident was among the calls to Oak Bay Police between Nov. 9 to 15.

Oak Bay police were pleased to note there were no reports during that period of theft from automobiles, a rarity, however, not all calls are reported.

On Nov. 9 an Oak Bay police officer stopped a driver at Fort Street and Foul Bay Road.

The 20-year-old man driving, with an N license, was determined to be driving impaired and breaching previous driving conditions. He was issued a 90-day driving prohibition, had his vehicle impounded for 30 days and was issued two tickets for violating his driving licence conditions, said Deputy Chief Mark Fisher.

On Nov. 11 there was a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Cadboro Bay Road and Florence Street when a 56-year-old man drove through a red light.

“A [driver traveling] eastbound on Cadboro Bay Road drove through a red light and hit another vehicle causing significant damage,” Fisher said.

The driver was issued a ticket.

Oak Bay police were highly active on Friday, Nov. 13. They arrested a 33-year-old man in the 3400-block of Henderson Road for an outstanding warrant of “theft under $5,000,” Fisher said.

A police officer also unexpectedly entered a “plume” of pepper spray on Nov. 13 while responding to a report of bicycle theft.

The 51-year-old man who made the report was arrested, and subsequently released, for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Oak Bay police also responded to the reported theft of bicycle from a household in the 2000-block of Oak Bay Avenue.

“The complainant advised that his [full-suspension] bicycle was stolen from inside his suite,” Fisher said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paul Lewis is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Arts Advocate of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore driftwood sculptor inspired by Esquimalt Lagoon

Paul Lewis is the 2021 Arts Advocate of the Year

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read