Flower thieves may be on the loose in the South Cariboo, according to one local business that lost over $300 worth of product to thefts in late August.
Lee’s Custom Floors was the victim of flower thefts that took place on North Horse Lake Road over the summer, and manager Janet McKenzie said this isn’t the first time that the business has been targeted by vandals.
“We’ve been broken into a million times and we’ve had vandalism lots of times,” she said. “We’ve had windows smashed and our vehicles have been vandalized, [too].”
Lee Peters is the owner of Lee’s Custom Floors. McKenzie explained that Peters usually stays on-site full-time, which has been effective in deterring thefts or acts of vandalism. During his time out of town this summer, the flower baskets disappeared from their hooks out front of the store.
“On Monday, Aug. 19 the first one was stolen, and then two days later, three [more] were stolen,” said one of the store’s sales associates, Ganesa Wiens. “There were six total. Four of them were taken.”
“They were just gone,” said McKenzie, who contacted Wiens to confirm just how many sets the business had on display to begin with when she first noticed that the baskets were missing. Wiens confirmed that there had been six in total, and McKenzie soon realized the flowers had been stolen.
“The next day, I was thinking I should [have] twist-tied them because they probably used a pick-up and just lifted them and grabbed them. But Ace had theirs stolen, too,” said McKenzie.
Peters is very upset about the whole situation, said Wiens, who noted how strange it seems to steal flowers at the end of the growing season. The baskets were displayed on hanging S-hooks about twelve feet above the ground.
“They had [to have] backed a pick-up up to it,” she explained. “They’re pretty high up there.”
McKenzie and Wiens are both disappointed by the theft of their store’s flower baskets, and noted the irony of the crime, as the pair had finally convinced store-owner Peters to spruce up the establishment with a bit of summer decorating. The two women chose six arrangements to match their store’s signage.
“We finally convinced him… Now he’s never going to want to do it again,” said McKenzie.
“They were nice. They were big. The baskets were red, which we picked to match the front of the building,” said Wiens. “The flowers and the plants were all red and white and green to match the front as well. They looked so nice, too.”
“We don’t invest a lot of money into the cosmetics of the business so that we can give it back in pricing. We don’t splurge,” McKenzie explained. “Not that it was a huge amount of money [that we lost], but it’s just—my big concern is, well I actually reported it, because I was worried that they’re going to start moving into the compound and start vandalizing or stealing in there.”
McKenzie reported the incident to the local RCMP, who she said advised her that a member would be in touch soon. McKenzie said the business has not yet heard back from the police in regards to their complaint.
“They wouldn’t expect us to do anything about it because it’s just plants,” said McKenzie, relaying her boss’ thoughts on the situation.
“Yes, we are putting in cameras,” she added.