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Nanaimo auto shop destroyed as thieves steal vehicles

Kevin Goldsbury, owner of Nanaimo Midas on Island Highway, said he’s seen a lot of crime at his mechanic businesses over the decades, but nothing like it.

Thieves broke into a Nanaimo auto repair shop early Tuesday and stole two customers’ vehicles, which they used rams to smash through the large overhead doors.

Kevin Goldsbury, owner of Nanaimo Midas on Island Highway, said he’s witnessed plenty of crime at his mechanic businesses over the decades — broken windows, stolen tools and burglaries — but nothing like it.

“We went down four bays and did nothing today because we’re just cleaning up and trying to put temporary doors in place so the store is safe and we can keep operating,” said Goldsbury Tuesday.

The thieves threw a stone through a window around 3:30 a.m. to gain access to the garage, searched the office for keys and left with a Ford F-350, which had been brought in the day before for work, and a Subaru Forester, who had just had a $2,000 head gasket job on the engine.

The thieves backed the vehicles off the hoists and smashed the doors.

Goldsbury said it did not cover the cost of repairs to the vehicles as well as the salaries of six technicians and other staff.

It will take about 14 weeks for the new overhead doors to arrive. These will be covered by insurance, but developing and creating a new door system so the business can continue to operate will incur additional costs, not to mention lost business.

“I told customers we just couldn’t get them in,” Goldsbury said. “Not until we can safely store the vehicles.”

Goldsbury said it began storing vehicles indoors overnight after a wave of vandalism over the years, mostly broken windows and attempted thefts. He said the RCMP planted a bait car at the site a few years ago. The car, which locks the perpetrators inside, caught a potential thief on the first night.

“You assume that [the vehicles] are going to be pretty safe in there,” he said. “But then it happens…”

Security footage showed the thieves driving away with the vehicles, but the quality was not good enough to produce facial photos. New cameras are installed.

Nanaimo RCMP say the stolen cars are a white 2019 Ford F-350 without license plate and a black 2009 Subaru Forester with BC license plate LF1 61C

Both vehicles reportedly suffered extensive rear damage from smashing through the bay doors, RCMP said.

Police are asking anyone with information to call them at 250-754-2345.

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