Vernon business owner, Nicolas Kynigos holds one of the rocks used to shatter the window of his pizza restaurant, Nicolas & Marie’s Pizza, Pasta and Donair. (Erin Christie/Morning Star)

Multiple breakins inspires B.C. business owner to offer jobs

A Vernon restaurant owner says he is willing to offer thieves work

  • Apr. 13, 2018 4:11 p.m.

His business has been vandalized and broken into four times since November — three of those break-ins occurred within the last 10 days, but Nicolas Kynigos, owner of Nicolas & Marie’s Pizza, Pasta and Donair on 27th Street says he’s not angry anymore.

“Obviously I’m frustrated because I’m paying for the damage and that will set me behind on my other bills. But what really concerns me is that this is going to keep happening, and not just to me — it’s happening all over the city,” he said.

“We’re the working class — the backbone of the economy and we’re being terrorized in a way. There are business owners who have been forced to put bars on their windows so people can’t break them. I don’t want to live like that.”

In less than one year, Kynigos has had his cash register taken twice and the tip jar swiped. Each time large rocks were used to shatter his door or front window — which is currently boarded up. The current damage is estimated to be approximately $5,000.

And though he made headlines earlier this week for offering the person or people who caused the damage an opportunity to work it off at his restaurant, no one has come forward to take him up on his offer.

He said this is indicative of a bigger issue in Vernon.

“The people who broke in didn’t take anything besides cash. I think they took the register so they could get in and get out quick, which tells me they were looking for money to buy drugs in this case. But that isn’t always why people end up desperate enough to steal,” he said.

“There are lots of reasons people end up on the street.”

Kynigos feels Vernon can mitigate some thefts if business owners, residents, service groups and local law enforcement band together to create “safe spaces.”

“After all this happened it got me thinking, what if instead of living in fear, we gave these people a place to work and get paid and feel self-worth? There are people living out on the street freezing and begging for a dollar, so let’s clean it up — but in a human way and not look down on the poor because anybody could land there. We need to come together as a community to help these people because if we don’t do something, the problem is going to get a lot worse.”

In regard to his own financial struggles in the wake of the break-ins, Kynigos said there has been an outpouring of support from residents, customers and his peers in the business community.

“My landlord, Raj Jaswal, who owns the building my restaurant is in could have kicked me out for being late with the rent because of all this. Instead he allowed me to make an arrangement for the rent and donated $2,000 worth of cameras for the restaurant to help with security.”

He also wants to recognize Midtown Bistro for spearheading a fundraising campaign, Universal Hair for donating a cash register to him after his was stolen, Alarmtel Security & Telephone Inc. and anyone who donated or purchased products from his restaurant.

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff


@VernonNews
erin.christie@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Vernon business owner, Nicolas Kynigos holds one of the rocks used to shatter the window of his pizza restaurant, Nicolas & Marie’s Pizza, Pasta and Donair. Kynigos’s 27th Street shop has been vandalized and broken into four times since November — three of those break-ins occurred within the last 10 days. (Erin Christie/Morning Star)

(Erin Christie/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Celebrate Transit Driver Appreciation Day with BC Transit on Mar. 18

Say a little ‘thank you’ to the people who help you get where you need to be safely, like Sherry Lane

LETTER: There’s a man with a gun over there

Agassiz resident Harvey Andrews shares his thoughts on the latest shooting in Chilliwack

LETTER: Kudos to Kent

Agassiz resident Claude Bouchard shares his appreciation for Kent staff following the winter winds

Hope Search and Rescue worried about looming expiry date for government funding

The province’s 80 SAR groups have been sharing $15 million in grants from previous government

LETTER: Avoiding water bottle refill stations short-sighted

Chilliwack’s Ashala Palaniuk shares her thoughts on Harrison’s decision to say no to refill stations

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

5 to start your day

Gas prices go up, a deadly single-car crash in Coquitlam, big day for Alphonso Davies, and more

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Driver dies in fiery crash in Coquitlam

Police say speed was factor in single-vehicle collision

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Most Read