A thief with a truck smashed through at least five store fronts in Maple Ridge early Thursday, causing thousands of dollars in damage but leaving with little loot.
The break-in spree began just after 1 a.m. at Great Spaces Furniture, hit Uptown Health Food and Vitamins 15 minutes later, targeted End of the Roll next, followed by Cloverdale Paints and finally Carpet One.
Officers told staff at Carpet One eight stores had been rammed by the truck in one night, but Ridge Meadows RCMP could only confirmed five.
Only five large jars of protein powder were stolen from Uptown Health Food and Vitamins, on Lougheed Highway near the Scotia Bank, but the break-in caused between $5,000 and $10,000 in damage.
“It’s pretty foolish,” said Linda Barlow, who works at the store.
“It’s the first time someone has crashed into us with a truck. It makes absolutely no sense. You’ve got to wonder what’s going on in somebody’s head when they do something like that? Probably not a lot.”
In the same block as a jewelery store, Cloverdale Paints may have lost a gallon of paint in the break-in, but has a huge mess to clean up, while Carpet One had its till stolen, though it held little cash.
The truck smashed through three glass panes, including the front door at End of the Roll, again causing more than $5,000 in damage.
Manager Kerry Roberge said change was stolen from the cash register, totalling $80.
“A total waste of time,” he added.
Security alarms alerted Mounties to the break-ins and officers spotted the pickup truck near Westgate Centre, where the driver fled west.
Police did not pursue the truck, but called the RCMP helicopter Air One to track it from above.
The truck was eventually found abandoned in a field near Pitt Meadows airport on Ford Road, but police were unable to find a suspect.
Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said a forensic team will be lifting fingerprints from the truck and crime scenes.
Investigators believe the thief may have stolen a second vehicle after abandoning the pickup truck.
Accent Glass could barely keep up with the calls to fix the broken windows on Thursday morning.
“It always comes in spurts,” said manager Jaime Libby.
“I don’t know if it’s a full moon or what?”