The general manager of the Penticton Toyota is warning other business owners in the community to be vigilant after thieves broke into the dealership and made off with over $60,000 worth of equipment — including a brand new pick-up truck.
The dealership’s general manager Larry Pidperyhora said they were first notified of the break-in by their alarm company early Wednesday (May 12) morning just before 6 a.m.
Security cameras caught the entire incident. RCMP was notified of the break-in at the same time as Pidperyhora.
Pidperyhora said security footage shows two men lurking around the dealership before one breaks in through a glass door in the service drive-through area and lets the other man in.
Once inside, the two thieves ransacked the dealership, stealing laptops and many tools. Pidperyhora estimates the stolen tools alone are worth approximately $6,000.
Within minutes the thieves made off in a brand new 2021 black Toyota Tacoma. The truck was inside the dealership and happened to have the key inside.
“The truck was in the shop because it was getting accessories put on; it’s very common for us to leave the keys inside the truck when it’s inside the shop,” Pidperyhora said. “So obviously, they just took the truck.”
Pidperyhora said luckily, the truck comes equipped with anti-theft service through Toyota Canada’s stolen vehicle program and they were able to activate a tracking beacon in the truck.
“Hopefully, that should allow the RCMP to locate the truck,” Pidperyhora said. “We’re kind of in a holding pattern right now until they (RCMP) locate the truck. I would love to find out that they’ve located the people as well but time will tell.”
Penticton Toyota has had vehicles stolen in the past, but this is the first time thieves have actually broken into the building and stolen a vehicle from the inside.
“There’s no shame and nothing that they won’t do; it’s pretty disturbing,” Pidperyhora said.
Pidperyhora is hoping to spread the word to be extra vigilant to other business owners as break-ins seem to be becoming all too common in Penticton.
“It’s not the first or last time that a business or organization in this city has been impacted by this kind of stuff,” he said.
“I hope that everybody knows to double down on their security protocols. It kind of seems to happen that if one dealership gets hit, maybe these guys know that there could be valuable stuff that’s pretty easy to get through a smash and grab.
“As if it’s not hard enough to operate a business already… no matter no what you do, you need to be incredibly vigilant.”
The truck has been registered as stolen with the RCMP. Pidperyhora is hopeful people will keep an eye out for the truck and the stolen goods and that the vehicle will eventually be located.
Watch the security footage below: