Vancouver drone store looted twice in two days

Vancouver drone store looted twice in two days

dronestorerobbery

Jon Woodward, CTV News, Reporter

Only a day after a clerk’s wallet was stolen from under her nose, a Vancouver drones store was targeted again – this time for $15,000 worth of merchandise.

Security camera footage shows two people in black entering Drones Plus on Fourth Avenue from the rear at 1:24 am, and loading expensive drones, cameras and iPads into what appears to be black garbage bags.

The man then leaves through the back door. The video shows them walking down the street with bikes, carrying the bags.

“We don’t know if this is in relation to the theft of our employee’s wallet, if the store was being cased, or if this is a completely unrelated crime, but we are looking for the media and public’s help in this situation,” said Abi Wright, the director of marketing and media relations for Drones Plus.

Wright said she’s hoping that if someone saw anything they can contact the company and let them know any information.

Only a day before, store clerk Yabsera Aklilu was approached by a man looking to use the store’s phone. He said he had locked his keys and his dog in his car.

But while she was distracted, he grabbed her wallet and passport. Aklilu is an Ethopian citizen and replacing the passport is difficult. She needs the passport to travel on a vacation, which looks like it won’t happen now.

It’s not the first time the chain has been targeted. The company says it’s their seventh robbery in a chain of 12 stores between the US and Canada.

That includes a sudden heist in a Los Angeles store where six people in white coveralls burst in and stole another $15,000 worth of drones in August, and a fraud case in Toronto. Store co-founder Mike Thorpe speculated that drones are popular with customers – which makes them tempting for criminals as well.

“We need help and we’re asking that of our media partners and community,” Wright.

The company has shared serial numbers of the drones with police and staff are asking people to be on the lookout for craigslist ads that seem suspicious.

Police officers attended the store Thursday.

The store says it received some tips about the identity of the wallet-stealer and passed them onto the Vancouver Police.

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/vancouver-drone-store-looted-twice-in-two-days-1.2548558

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