(NELSON, BC) On Sunday evening, June 16, Holy Smoke Culture Shop suffered its second robbery in 2 weeks. The first robbery occurred on Sunday June 9 when a door was left open for approximately 15 minutes which was long enough for a thief to make off with an estimated $600 in cash. No police report was filed about this event.
The second robbery resulted in extensive damage to the building, as well as stolen cash and merchandise. Roughly $420 in cash and over $2500 in merchandise, mostly glass art pipes, is reported as stolen. There is no cost estimate yet of the building damage which included 3 broken doors and frames, a broken window, and a demolished wooden stairway.
Evidence seems to show that the thief or thieves had first attempted to enter the premises by smashing out a plexiglass window in the front door as well as removing the pins from the door hinges. The door held so apparently the intruder(s) then entered into an exterior storage room which is located under a wooden stair that is inside the building and leads from the main floor to the basement. From there the intruder was able to smash and pry their way through the solid wood stair treads and risers. The Nelson City Police officer who investigated the scene said he had never seen such a determined attempt to break and enter into a business. Fingerprints were taken and are being analysed for criminal identification.
Insurance will cover the damage to the building but will not cover the loss in cash and merchandise. This comes at an especially trying time for the owners and associates of Holy Smoke. “Business has been rather slow lately and we are still trying to recover from our big move about a year ago,” said Paul DeFelice, co-owner of the store. “We understand that people are especially desperate since the Campbell government has taken power in BC and laid off hundreds of people in Nelson as well as cut many needy people off from government assistance.”
Holy Smoke intends to struggle on but it will be difficult to overcome this setback. If anyone has any information leading to the apprehension of the people or the return of the missing items please contact Paul DeFelice or Dustin Cantwell at (250) 352-9477 or email [email protected] . Also, visit www.holysmoke.ca for more information. A poster with colour pictures of the glass as well as an electronic image in jpg format is available upon request.
Contact: Paul DeFelice (250) 352-9477 business, (250) 229-4338 home, [email protected] email.