The owner of Anchor Eatery in Ambleside is urging the community to look out for a cookie thief who ransacked her store and also walked away with approximately $750 from the tills and the tip jars.
He took approximately the same amount from the neighbouring Bean Around the World coffee shop, which shares space with Anchor Eatery. He smashed the cash drawers and stole an iPad from Anchor Eatery along with hundreds of muffins, cookies, croissants and cinnamon buns from the coffee shop. In a video shared by Anchor Eatery owner Natasha Romero, the man can be seen walking away with boxes of eatables from the store.
Romero says she estimates the theft would set her back by at least $6,000.
“I have to replace the iPad, the windows and the till, and then there is loss of business as we had to open late and can’t accept cash. Only credit card that we have to process manually. This is hard for a small business,” she says.
The man entered the store by breaking the window of the back door around 5 am on Saturday, July 27, and was there for less than an hour. When the coffee shop staff came in at 6 am, they noticed a half-empty carton of milk on the table, which he drank while looting the store.
“That is the scary part for me. We sometimes come quite early to the store and any one of us could have been in the store at the time he broke in,” Romero says.
Below is the cookie thief captured by the camera in the store:
West Vancouver police, Romero says, almost caught the guy last night when he was loitering around in the neighbourhood. He managed to run away, however, emptying his pockets of stolen items as he ran from the police.
As he ran, he dropped beer, some change, a hat stolen from the coffee shop, and a bunch of pay cheques from the Anchor Eatery. Other businesses were also broken into the same night, Romero says.
“They tried to chase him, but he got away. He is hanging out in the neighbourhood, and from what I hear he has been breaking into other businesses as well,” Romero says.
Romero, who bought the store six years ago, says she has seen an increase in suspicious activity in the Ambleside neighbourhood. “I often come in early to bake and sometimes leave late. There has also been an increase in homeless people in the area. I see dirty needles in the alleys, and I notice people just stumbling around the area. There has been a noticeable increase in all these suspicious activities the last six years since I have been there,” she says.
Romero is hoping that someone would recognise the man in the video and contact the West Vancouver police. “They are still looking for him and if someone recognises him in the neighbourhood, please call the West Vancouver police. He is likely in a North Shore community,” she says.
If you have any details, you can contact the West Vancouver police department directly at 604-925-7300.
Romero posted video grabs of the cookie thief on her Instagram: