News

Smash and grab downtown

Ian Zhu,  acupuncturist at Maple Ridge Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Centre, wraps his front door in wrapping paper to hide the plywood after it was smashed during a robbery.  - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Ian Zhu, acupuncturist at Maple Ridge Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Centre, wraps his front door in wrapping paper to hide the plywood after it was smashed during a robbery.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

A Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre on 223rd Street, near 119th Avenue, was broken into last week.

Thieves smashed through the clinic’s tempered glass front on July 22 and grabbed a jar of coins from behind the front counter.

Owner Ian Zhu, an acupuncturist, learned about the break-in when police called him at 7 a.m.

“We’re fortunate they didn’t ransack the place,” said Zhu. “They even left us $1.50.”

A Ridge Meadows RCMP spokesperson said the break-in was witnessed by someone in the downtown area and reported to police.

He said business break-ins are up slightly. There have been 101 reported commercial break-ins in Maple Ridge so far this calendar year, which is up by eight compared with last year.

However, residential break-ins have dropped 21 per cent, and those at other types of uninhabited buildings such as sheds and outbuildings are down 45 per cent in the past year.

He noted that the arrest of one offender can have a significant impact on local break-ins.

The clinic has been operating since 1994 and hasn’t been a target of thieves in more than a decade.

“It’s been pretty good in the past 20 years,” said Zhu, who noted that the stolen change was mistakenly left in sight.

“This seems more like a crime of opportunity.”

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