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Two break-and-enters in Courtenay appear to be linked, says business owner

Restaurant owner says significant amount of cash was stolen and tools recovered at the scene
Katherine Kirk holds a slab of concrete she believes was used to break through her back window at Yummies and Gyros. The restaurant safe was broken into that night, with tools that appear to have been stolen from a nearby auto shop. (Connor McDowell/Comox Valley Record)

A burglar squeezed through a window on Puntledge Road before apparently power-grinding through a restaurant safe, eating feta cheese and stealing cash.

Yummies & Gyros Greek Cafe owner Katherine Kirk showed the Record the back window of her restaurant on Thursday (April 18), a less-than-two-foot tall opening where a burglar smashed through in the early morning of Sunday, April 14. Inside her restaurant after the burglary, she found a slab of concrete she believed was used to break the window.

“I go home and walk around in circles,” said Kirk, who added the safe contained a significant amount of money that was stolen. “I will never get my money back.”

A sledgehammer, a power grinder and a pair of pliers laid on the floor of her restaurant’s back room in several pictures she showed the Record. A square hole was punched through the side of the restaurant’s safe.

“They knew what they were doing,” said Kirk. As no alarm had rang that night, the burglar “helped themselves to some pop, chips and feta” during the operation.

Neighbouring business Kingsway Auto Centre was also broken into the same night. Owner Gaus Chowdhury noted the burglar rummaged through the shop before stealing an unknown number of tools – including a grinder similar to the one used on Kirk’s safe.

The burglar also stole grinder replacement disks from the other side of the shop, he said.

Video footage from businesses in the area shows a single person walking around the area in the middle of the night. The person appeared tall, wearing a gray hood over their head and tight black pants.

The person is seen in videos at Kingsway Auto peering through the fence, walking around the perimeter, and at Yummies & Gyros passing back and forth in front of the building just minutes apart, at 1:42 a.m. and 1:45 a.m.

In all videos seen by the Record, there was no footage of the person breaking into either property. The windows which were shattered were not within sight of either camera seen by the Record.

Neither Kirk or Chowdhury were able to confirm the time that their properties were broken into. However, they both confirmed it was Sunday morning.

The Record reached out to RCMP for more details on the incidents, but received no response.

Kirk has started a fundraiser. To see more, go to