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

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

New and expanding businesses abound around Castlegar

Fourteen vacant commercial spaces have been filled in recent months

Addressing the opioid crisis in Castlegar

Decriminalization is key to providing proper support for people who use drugs, a conference heard.

Castlegar shares draft 2018 budget

Property owners can expect to see a 3.5% property tax increase — about $39 for the typical home.

Localized flooding on Bloomer Creek

Castlegar’s Oglow subdivision experienced some flooding due to failure of a private culvert.

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Most Read