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

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

BC Wildfire merges Mt. Eneas and Munro Lake fires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

Contest: Got a cute pet? Send us a photo

Email us photos of your pets in the South Okanagan-Similkameen

ZONE 2: Summerland twins bring ultimate competition to the BC Summer Games

Brothers Connor and Holden Berrisford are each other’s main motivators

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read