Ninety-two pairs of luxury sunglasses were stolen after a thief smashed the front door of a West Kelowna optometry office in the early morning hours of July 28.
Sunglasses by Hugo Boss, Nine West, Kate Spade, Tom Ford, Gucci and Swarvoski were among the shades stolen from Strawn and Co. Optometry office on Carrington Road.
“It’s definitely unnerving when you get a phone call at 3:30 in the morning,” office manager Marie Mackenzie said. “It’s typically never good news.”
A number of St. Laurent glasses frames were also lifted from the store.
Mackenzie said the security footage showed a man wearing gloves and mask making his way directly to the luxury sunglasses in the unlocked cases.
“We know (the suspect) was in the office before checking it out—checking out where the cameras were,” she said. “He didn’t even attempt to go the cases that were locked.”
Sunglasses, she said, were an easy target as they are easy to move.
“The very first thing we all kind of thought is all the local buy and sell pages on Facebook,” she said, noting red flags should be raised if someone is offering a lot of high-end designer names in bulk.
“It’s frustrating,” she said about the break-in. “You want to leave your product out so people can try it on and handle it, yet that very thing is what encourages the darker side.”
Although some security measures have been beefed up in the store, Mackenzie said Strawn and Co. Optometry won’t lose it’s welcoming atmosphere.
“We don’t want people to come in and feel like they’re entering For Knox,” she said. “We want it to be inviting.”
Kelowna RCMP responded to the incident in record time, Mackenzie said.
“We could not believe the incredibly fast response from the RCMP because this ‘gentleman’—for lack of a better word—was only in the place for two minutes,” she said.
It took a couple of days for the staff at the optometry office to record all of the missing items and now they are in the processes of filing insurance claims.
“It’s a little unnerving, for sure,” she said about the incident. “You don’t expect people to be in your business in the middle of the night.”
Anyone with any information of the incident is urged to come forward to RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).