Two Metro Vancouver used car lots located blocks apart are telling similar stories of regular, aggravating crime that is damaging their bottom line.
The signs of damage are everywhere at Langley’s SK Automarket.
Coverage of vandalism on Globalnews.ca:
A van with a damaged gearshift. A Ford F150 Harley-Davidson truck with a smashed window and a damaged ignition. A GMC vehicle with a damaged steering column and another Ford F150 with a broken window.
A man was caught on camera entering vehicles on the lot on the night of Feb. 3. Thousands of dollars worth of damage was done that night.
Karl Schifferns of SK Automarket said he’s been dealing with years of siphoned gas and stolen vehicles, tires and tools.
“They do all these little things and it’s nothing big enough to actually claim on your insurance,” he said.
“My insurance deductible is $2,500 per vehicle, per incident. The only one that comes close to that is the Harley truck and it’s bordering on that $2,500 to $3,000 worth of damage.”
Schifferns said that despite constant vigilance, and successful RCMP operations, there is little justice and the problems persist even when police catch someone.
“They know that these guys are doing all this stuff. They know who the prolific criminals are and they’re not arresting these guys. Arrest them. Put them in jail,” he said.
“Every time this stuff happens it costs me thousands of dollars, sets of tires, they vandalize all these trucks out here. And it just keeps happening and happening and happening. And nothing seems to be getting done.”
Nearby What Key Auto Sales has had to deal with thieves smashing through the front windows of the dealership.
“On Christmas night, about 2 in the morning, they backed the truck into this window and went inside, got some keys and stole a vehicle off the lot,” Wade Wutke of What Key Auto Sales said.
“In doing that, they backed into another vehicle damaged it and they took off and smashed another vehicle on the way out.”
Both dealerships say they just want the thefts to end.
“I keep paying this out of my pocket,” Schifferns said.
“It’s getting to the point where at end of year when I add up what I’ve spent on this stuff, it’s the case of whether I actually make money or lose money at the end of the year.”
- With files from Geoff Hastings