The Meadowood Store was broken into Thursday morning at approximately 3 a.m. when a black truck smashed in the front door.

Smash and grab effort fails at rural store in Dashwood

Store owner and former Parksville mayor Chris Burger says break-ins are 'a fact of life in retail'

A black pick-up truck busted through a wrought iron security gate smashing in the front door of the Meadowood Store at approximately 3 a.m. Thursday, according to store clerk Cathy Hutcheson.

“The ATM (machine) was their target,” Hutcheson told The NEWS just after the incident, pointing to the partially dismantled machine at the back of the store. She said video surveillance suggests two men wearing masks and dark clothing attempted to break into the ATM machine using a crow bar.

Hutcheson said the safe inside the ATM appears to be untouched and the thieves likely ran out of time before getting to it. Oceanside RCMP confirmed they were called to the Meadowood Store early Thursday morning.

Despite a gaping hole the truck left where the front door used to be, Hutcheson said it doesn’t appear anything was stolen.

The convenience store carries everything from liquor and cigarettes to ammunition and chocolate bars.

“Nothing was taken from what I can see,” she said. “In reviewing the tape, they (police) will be able to determine if anything was taken but it appears they left empty handed.”

The store shelves, lined with bottles of wine, were perfectly in tact Thursday morning.

Hutcheson said the store has video surveillance inside and outside.

She said it appears the thieves were outside the store for about ten minutes before busting through the front door.

Electrical cords on the alarm system on the side of the building appeared to be dismantled.

But according to police, the “loud bang” caused by the vehicle smashing into the front door woke up the store owners who live nearby and ran to the store immediately.

“The store owners must have startled the two men who quickly left the store, jumped back into the truck, and sped away down Meadowood Way towards Corcan Road,” states a new release issued by police Thursday.

RCMP were unable to locate a matching vehicle in the area.

Former Parksville mayor Chris Burger owns the Meadowood Store.

“It’s a pain in the butt, but ultimately it’s all property damage and nobody was hurt,” Burger said Saturday about the incident. “In retail, this is just a fact of life.”

Burger said the store didn’t lose any hours of operation.

“We actually opened early that day (of the break-in),” he said. “Mostly because, well, we were missing a wall.”

Burger said in terms of property damage this is the worst the store has seen, but not in terms of loss.

Externally, the building suffered but he said internally the store fared well during the break-in.

“We got lucky in that the damages are quite limited inside the store … bags of chips are pretty forgiving,” he said optimistically with a laugh.

Hutcheson, who’s lived in the area for seven years, said this is a “rare” event.

“It’s not easy access to get out here,” she said. “There’s only one way in and one way out.”

She said the incident makes her “uneasy” and she wonders “if the thieves were locals or if this was a one time thing.”

Hutcheson said from the foot of Baylis Street to the top of Meadowood Way there are about 1,000 homes.

“You think everybody is pretty nice who comes in (to the store) and you just don’t expect this to happen,” she said.

If you have any information about this incident please call the Oceanside RCMP at 250-248-6111 or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville rider to join alumni for modified Tour de Rock

Roberts pleased to again be involved in Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer event

Qualicum Beach roundabout project would cost nearly $2M

Town to apply for funds to cover $1.79M of the total

Protesters in Parksville demand change to current B.C. forest practices

Approximately 50 people march along Island Highway

Town of Qualicum Beach defers discussions with preservation society regarding wetlands

CAO says registered covenant will protect land in perpetuity

Qualicum Beach seek funds for $4.5M community field project

Turf surface would allow for new sporting activities

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Nanaimo mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Motor home burns up at north Nanaimo intersection

No one hurt in incident Friday morning at old Island Highway, Rutherford Road and Mostar Road

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting garbage bins out early

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as concerns about bears increase

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read