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)

(Erin Christie/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Iconic Shuswap sternwheeler undergoing work for return to service

Sicamous business owner Mike Helfrick hopes to offer dinner tours on historic vessel

CSRD board approves pay increase for directors

Remuneration bylaw will come into effect after election of new board

CSRD looking into upgrades for Scotch Creek Water Plan

District beginning feasibility study for future upgrades

Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye salmon

New estimates say about 750,000 sockeye will spawn on the Adams River, similar to 2014 dominant run

Salmon Arm library to undergo upgrades over the winter

New meeting space planned for Okanagan Regional Library’s Salmon Arm branch

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

B.C. nanny charged with sex abuse of 3 children

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

The mountain pine beetle epidemic affected more than 180,000 square kilometres in B.C.

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

Most Read