Imagine coming to your work or home and discovering that someone had ripped off part of your roof in an attempt to gain entry.
This is what Heath McKenzie found when he came to work at his Cranky’s Bike Shop on Monday morning.
About 150 square feet of asphalt roofing and shiplap sheathing had been torn off the shop’s roof in two places, on the front of the old wood frame building facing 272 Street, in the 2900-block of the busy, mostly-commercial retail street.
The would-be B&E artist failed to gain entry for all his work that night.
In the early hours of Monday morning residential neighbours were awakened by the sounds of dogs barking and wood cracking and splintering. Neighbours investigated and found a man trying to break into Cranky’s Bike Shop by removing a large portion of the roof.
However, what initially baffled McKenzie is that he was told that police, acting on complaints from the neighbour about the noise, had apprehended the suspect in the act of breaking in, yet he returned twice to carry on with the dismantling of the roof until 7 a.m., at which point he apparently gave up.
“The suspect is known to police,” added McKenzie, who has now spoken directly to the police officer who was on the scene that night. The officer came back on duty Friday and explained what he had witnessed to McKenzie.
Acting on the original call about 3 a.m. the officer found the man on the roof, who claimed to be helping a raccoon get down. The officer told him he had to get down and took him into custody but as there was no visible damage and commercial trespass is a bylaw offence, he was let go.
When the officer was called the second time the man leapt off the roof and fled on foot.
The officer then was called to a case in Langley city and was unable to respond to complaints about the man returning to Cranky’s roof. It was this time that the most serious damage was done to the roof.
Police told McKenzie that the suspect is a homeless man with substance abuse issues who has been occupying the ATM lobbies of the local banks and credit union.
“They hope to charge him with mischief and thereby get a mandatory psychiatric assessment, and hopefully a positive solution,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie owns the store building, a former residence which he remodeled extensively when he moved his family’s bicycle sales and repair business into it a few years ago.
Previous attempts to break and enter have been via the windows, but over the years he has installed unbreakable plexiglas and double bars on the windows.
McKenzie and his friends have restored the roof.
In the early hours of Monday morning residents in the 2900-block of 272 Street were awakened by the sounds of dogs barking and wood cracking and splintering. Neighbours investigated and found a man trying to break into Cranky’s Bike Shop by removing a large portion of the roof.