Fraser Valley – – In September, members of Business Improvement Areas of BC (BIABC) launched an urgent appeal to all three levels of government to deal with untenable street issues and crime plaguing communities across the province.
That includes the Fraser Valley.
Cody Christopher owns Fuel Motorsports in Chilliwack. He has literally seen it all on his property which is next to the Chilliwack Best Buy. He, like many other business owners are frustrated with what the City and other government agencies can and can not or perhaps, will not do, to combat the problem.
He wrote to FVN:
I own a company called Fuel Motorsports. We have been operating in Chilliwack for ten years. I just read your article on property crime effecting business and can tell you from first hand experience it is a major problem. I have had 62 incidents of stolen property and the basis in which it happens seems to be in the rise.
From stealing catalytic converters, to stealing wheels, breaking into main showroom, or stolen vehicles, i have seen it all and the police have literally never done a thing to help or curb the trend. Our system doesn’t allow them to actually put these guys behind bars for any period of time so they just don’t care to actually get them off the streets. This would be fine from a business point of view if you had coverage. As a car dealership in BC I’m required to pay around $40k a year for insurance which also does not help with these incidents though.
Example: One night I had 10 gas tanks drilled out and all the gas taken from each of them. This costs me about $15k to repair all of the vehicles. I attempted to put through a claim but ICBC said this was one of ten isolated incidents that happened in the same night. Said each one would require the deductible of $1000 and filing all these claims at once could affect my rates and coverage options moving forward. This is one of 62 incidents in which costs my business directly and makes me question operating in this area. I have travelled the world and can tell you first hand that we have a real issue in the Fraser Valley. I just got back from Greece and the rental car company simply told us to leave the keys in the ignition at the airport with the doors unlocked when we flew out off hours because they don’t have issues like stolen cars. That is incomprehensible here.
All in all, I have only been able to file two insurance claims for the 62 incidents, the rest is simply on the business to absorb. I am easily in 6 figures of losses due to the thievery and property damage of these homeless or addicted individuals.
I now have 2 layers of security fence with barbwire around plus 24 hour live in security all paid for out of my 60k a year budget that goes towards the cost of doing business in an area where drug addicts are allowed to roam the streets doing whatever they please.