Thieves target designer eyewear in White Rock, B.C.
Glasses stolen and then sold in other provinces
Optometry clinics in White Rock, B.C. have been forced to install extra security measures after they were repeatedly targeted by thieves.
Dawn Scott, who works at the White Rock Optometry Clinic, says the clinic has had to absorb the cost of losing ten to 20 pairs of glasses a year.
Scott says she has even tackled a thief to the ground.
"Instinct took over," she said. "We saw a young man put Gucci sunglasses in his pocket and when we confronted him, he headed for the door, so I headed after him and grabbed onto his coat and hung on as long as I could, screaming."
Scott says thieves are also going after prescription eyeglass frames, which are then sold in other provinces.
"If they're stolen in Ontario and Quebec, then they're re-sold out here in British Columbia," she said.
"Frames have shown up and my reps have gone into the dealers and said, ‘where did you get them?’ And they backtrack really quickly and say ‘Here take them, we don't want any trouble'."
Ebraham Francis, who supplies eyewear to the film industry and owns the Eyebar Optical and Sunglass Boutique in White Rock, says he has been robbed three times.
"I was broken into in March of this year where they cleaned me out pretty well," he said. "Took a lot of my designer sunglasses, some prescription frames and a little bit of equipment. How much merchandise was taken? Almost $50,000."
Police have been called into investigate but say so far, they haven`t found a link between the robberies.
"There are similar accounts in all the cases that a side window was either broken or removed in order to gain access," said RCMP Const. Janelle Shoihet.
"That might indicate there might be a link that we can't verify at this point."