The damage done to the CIBC on Bernard was one of the many reports of damage from the weekend. Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News

Downtown Kelowna businesses vandalized and damaged

Kelly O’Bryans, CIBC, and Karmyc Bazaar were damaged this past weekend

Three downtown Kelowna businesses were heavily damaged this past weekend with broken windows, doors, and merchandise.

Kelowna RCMP responded to almost 50 calls over the weekend from 12 p.m. March 22 to March 25 in the downtown area alone. With most of the calls being in relation to damages to properties, disturbances, and trespassing, RCMP later arrested three suspects believed to be involved with the various amounts of vandalism and damage done to the downtown area.

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“Somebody had walked by and smashed our window,” said Kelly O’Bryans manager Brandon Williams.

“It happened at 7 p.m., and we’ve never had that happen. You expect this stuff to happen at night when there’s not a lot of foot traffic.”

While Williams said it’s hard to 100 per cent eradicate crime like this, and an increase of security may not always work.

“Any patrols they (RCMP) put downtown is advantageous to the businesses, but there’s not a lot you can do, glass is exposed and anyone can walk by and hit it with anything,” said Williams.

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While the CIBC seemed to get more damage out of the three businesses, Karmyc Bazaar, a local shop selling local art, had a front window caved in which damaged merchandise as well.

This is the shop’s second report of damage done, but owner Jenelle McGuire doesn’t know hot to prevent these types of incidents downtown.

“It could be so many different things. I know some steps are being taken to try and figure (this) out, and support our whole community,” said McGuire. “But I feel like the business owners, the workers downtown, need to be more supported than it is right now.”

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP arrest man carrying a knife

Three men aged 26 to 39 were arrested by Kelowna RCMP for crimes in relation to the damages done to the downtown businesses and more.

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