Langley Township businesses will ‘get hit hard’ by break-ins during COVID-19 closures

Store owners are being warned to leave their valuables out of sight from thieves

Langley Township businesses will be hit hard by break-ins during the COVID-19 crisis, according to Mayor and council at Friday afternoon’s meeting.

Councillor Kunst asked the Township to disseminate clear messaging for business owners to put their valuable merchandise out of plain sight in store windows.

Kunst likened the vulnerability of Township businesses to the rise of commercial break-ins in downtown Vancouver, where some stores are boarded up after increased theft.

Froese corroborated that closed “businesses are going to get hit hard,” especially as store owners self-isolate at home to curb COVID-19 spread.

Further into the meeting, Coun. Woodward expressed a different concern about businesses reportedly “unable to maintain social distancing” between customers.

READ MORE: 3 in 10 Canadians admit they aren’t practicing social distancing amid COVID-19

Woodward said he’s received emails from concerned residents, detailing how a Township sport centre is allowing dozens of people at one time use its facilities. 

Froese clarified that the only ban relevant to Township businesses is a provincial health restriction on events with 50 people or more.

“We want to hear about those businesses” violating the ban, Froese emphasized.

“But if it’s not an order [like the event ban] we cannot enforce it.”

Enforcement efforts must be referred to Fraser Health or the Langley RCMP, chief administrative officer Mark Bakken confirmed.

In the meantime, Froese said he and the rest of council can be “eyes and ears” for police once they receive news of businesses not ensuring social distancing.

RELATED: Trudeau announces 75 per cent wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

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