A burglar made off with about $25,000 worth of property early Sunday morning from the office of a barbecue restaurant in downtown Vancouver, the owner said.
Vancouver police responded at 5:21 a.m. to a report of a burglary next to The Smokin’ Oak, 501 Columbia St.
Owner Erick Gill said someone broke into his next-door office and got into the business’s safe. In addition to money, the burglar took other valuables that Gill estimates brings the total value of the stolen property to about $25,000. He described the burglar as a heavier-set man, wearing a gray sweatshirt, a hat, a mask and gloves.
Gill said this wasn’t the first time the restaurant has been the victim of thieves: There have been three prior break-ins, but Sunday’s was the worst.
“I think it’s unfortunate they prey on local, independent restaurants that have already had a tough go of it lately,” Gill said.
Although he’s not optimistic he’ll get the stolen property back, Gill said he’s investing in more security measures.
The burglary of the office has left him feeling like his privacy has been invaded, he said, more than if someone had broken into the public-facing restaurant. Still, Gill said he’s grateful no employees were there at the time so no one was hurt.
The Vancouver police Property Crimes Unit is continuing to investigate, according to police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.