The Tofino RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the thief or thieves responsible for two recent break-ins.

The Tofino RCMP is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the thief or thieves responsible for two recent break-ins.

Thieves targeting Tofino shops

“Business owners need to be a little bit more cautious, because someone out there is taking advantage of the situation."

A thief, or group of thieves, is taking advantage of Tofino’s sleepy January vibe.

Two local coffee shops have been broken into in the past week and police believe the incidents are related, according to Const. Chris Lemon of the Tofino RCMP.

“Business owners need to be a little bit more cautious, because someone out there is taking advantage of the situation,” Lemon told the Westerly. “It’s unfortunate and we are motivated to catch this person.”

Lemon said Tofino Roasting Company and Tuff Beans were robbed on Dec. 31 and Jan 5. Both locations were forcibly entered through their front doors during the early morning hours before opening and an undisclosed amount of money was taken.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in finding the thief, or thieves, responsible and Lemon urges anyone who saw, or sees, anything suspicious to contact their local RCMP detachment at 250-725-3242.

“Usually people’s instincts are bang-on for a reason,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt to call and it doesn’t hurt for us to swing by and check it out. That’s what were here for. There’s a lot more of the public than there is us and, sometimes, we rely on the public to be our eyes and ears.”

With summer’s busy season still months away, Lemon suggested some store owners aren’t being as vigilant as they could be to deter theft.

“Be proactive,” he said. “Make sure money is locked up or even removed from the store completely.”