The Lilypad Second Hand Store is the latest victim of a string
of crimes that have been hitting Pemberton in the past three months.
The store, which is located on Prospect Street near the offices
of the Pemberton Valley Dyking District, was ransacked and flooded on the
evening of Friday, Oct. 10, causing $5,000 in damage according to a news
release from the RCMP.
Carol Pettit, a co-owner of the store with Ross Edwards, said
her partner discovered the damage on Saturday morning and informed her after
talking to the police.
“It was just horrendous,” she said. “Everything and anything
that could have been pulled off the shelves, bookcases were pulled over, books
Pettit also said the vandals had shoved clothing into the
toilet and sink, blocked the waterflow and turned taps on. Water then leaked
into the storage room and downstairs the vandals had unleashed a fire
extinguisher, covering “everything” in a white film.
“My partner spent all week vacuuming downstairs,” she said. “It
was coated on everything, this white stuff, so it all had to be vacuumed.
…We’re talking every shirt, every T-shirt had to be vacuumed.”
The only thing stolen from the store was the Children’s Wish
Fund, according to Pettit, and the rest was “absolute chaos.” It took the
assistance of a lot of people within the community just to clean it up.
“I had a lot of help at the beginning because it took all day
of several people just so we could walk around the store,” she said.
This incident is not the first at the Lilypad and comes a months
after thieves broke in through a back window and stole the store’s float on
Sept. 12. It’s also the latest in a string of vandalism acts that Pettit said
has been happening since July’s Pemberton Festival.
Thieves also broke into The Nursery, another store in
Pemberton, on Aug. 30 and stole some cash.
Over the weekend of the festival there were two incidents
within the village — one at the Mount Currie Coffee Company, where again
some money was stolen, the other at the Local’s Livingroom, a coffee shop
located across from the Village of Pemberton chambers.
Sgt. Blake MacLeod with the Pemberton RCMP said this is actually
the third time that the Lilypad store has been robbed since the festival.
“We are investigating every lead, every possibility we can to
try to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said. “We’re certainly looking at
all bits of our investigation to one, to identify the people and prosecute them
if possible, and two, to stop these things going on in the community.
“I certainly don’t want to see people be alarmed and have
people be fearful for their property.”
Pettit and Edwards took over the store in 2006 from previous
owner Grace Jones, who was known around the community as “Gracie.” Back then
the store was known as Smith and Jones.
Jones gave the store to Pettit, who previously worked as a
cleaner in Whistler, when she wanted to retire from the business.
“With all the aches and pains I was glad to just stay in
Pemberton,” she said. “I’ve always loved second hand shops and always felt that
we needed to recycle these things that quite a few people seem to take to the
dump and whatnot.”
MacLeod also said the Pemberton RCMP are looking to start a
“Citizen’s Patrol” that will give police a few more eyes and ears in the
community. Citizens will be trained by RCMP members and help police report any
suspicious people or incidents within the community.
“That’s what we always need, the assistance of the community,
whether it be information or reporting things,” he said. “They’re literally
there just to report, not to act at all. We certainly don’t want to put anyone
in harm’s way.”
The program comes as Whistler RCMP are already in the midst of setting up a similar program.