A lone RCMP vehicle passes slowly in front of Shark Cove Restaurant on Monday evening, June 4. The obvious police presence seems reassuring for kitchen employee Jeannie Lawrence Anderson.
“They’ve been here all the time,” she says, nodding towards the window.
Lawrence said she has often wondered what would happen if she were alone in the building while a break in occurred.
As it happens, she was safe at home when thieves forced open a back door and beat a heavy-duty lock and chain off the cooler doors sometime late evening on Wednesday, May 30. Once inside they helped themselves to some food and drink.
Anderson discovered the theft when she came in the next day to clean and prepare for the usual Saturday night dance.
The perpetrators took four 24s of beer and an unknown quantity of wine coolers before moving into the kitchen, where they took some snacks including a big bag each of chicken wings and mozzarella sticks, as well as a large bottle of honey garlic dipping sauce. The restaurant was also missing several bags of potato chips.
At first Anderson didn’t realize that the restaurant had suffered a theft. Initially she only noticed the missing wings and called owner Richard Parsons.
“I called Richard and said any chance you come down and borrowed a bag of wings? He said, ‘Why would I want to borrow a bag of wings?’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘you might have a little get together and you might want wings.’”
Parsons confirmed he hadn’t done any such thing, but it wasn’t until Anderson went to put away cases of soda that she noticed the cooler locks and chains had been pried apart and the cooler was empty.
Once Parsons showed up, the duo did a quick search to uncover where the thieves had gained entry, fearing a window had been smashed in. But the thieves had chipped away at a back door instead.
Parsons went to report the theft to the RCMP and asked Anderson to have another look around for more missing items.
“I called Richard back again and he said, ‘What’s gone now’ and I said, ‘Me only bottle of garlic sauce is gone,’” laughs Anderson. “They took me garlic but never took me mild. Why didn’t they take me mild?”
Given that other items in the kitchen’s separate freezer and refrigerator were left untouched, and the hard liquor cabinets left intact, it’s Anderson’s belief that the thieves were familiar with the layout of the restaurant and where she stored their favourite goodies.
“They never touched the bar. That’s what we can’t understand,” reports Anderson.
“I was shocked that they never went and plied the locks off of that,” agrees bartender Darlene Matthews, motioning towards the bar. “Especially the liquor. I mean whole bottles of liquor? You could sell that.”
While the RCMP continues to investigate, the cooler locks and back door have all been replaced and reinforced.
After Anderson joked about her missing honey garlic sauce on Facebook, some commenters speculated that a person in need might be responsible for the theft, even hypothesizing about hungry children. Given the nature of the items that were stolen, it seems unlikely.
Shrugged Anderson, “They wanted their beer and they wanted something to eat after I guess.”