Local business target of property damage again

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Locally owned and operated Headspace Artefacts suffered another incident of property damage earlier this week.

Joy Larstone, the owner of Headspace Artefacts, said she discovered the front window of her shop had been broken when she arrived on Tuesday, January 24th. 

“I was here most of the day on Sunday, and it wasn’t there on Sunday,” Larstone said. “So it was either late Sunday night or anytime on Monday.” 

When Larstone posted about the damage on the shop’s Facebook, she mentioned that this was not a break-in and that nothing was stolen. However, this is not the first time Headspace Artefacts has dealt with break-ins or broken windows. 

According to Larstone, the shop has been broken into four or five times over the past few years. More recently in July 2022, when the shop had a window broken and multiple large pieces of glassware stolen.

Larstone also said she believes her business isn’t the only victim of theft and property damage.

“You know we’d have some thefts here and there. Not at this point. Now it’s just constant,” Larstone said. 

“Every day my whole feed is full of people showing their security footage from their house.”

In the Peace River region, the rise in property crime, such as property damage, theft, and break and enterings, is a noted issue. 

Multiple concerned citizens and business owners have brought the issue up to city council in Dawson Creek. The issue was then brought to the Peace River Regional District meeting earlier this January, where a motion was passed to contact both the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. 

Larstone said she thinks the recent rise in crime in the Fort St. John area is correlated with the increase in homelessness and addiction rates, which she said is being experienced across the country. 

“I think it’s the same reason that everyone else is dealing with the increase of crime. The increase of homelessness and addiction go hand in hand,” Larstone said.

“And until we can treat both homelessness and addiction and have the proper resources, I don’t think things are going to just magically change on their own all of a sudden.”

Larstone is currently in the process of replacing the broken window and has contacted Peace Glass Ltd. about options to protect the shop’s glass windows in the future.

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