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Volunteers rallied to help after another smash-and-grab at Mary’s in Chilliwack

‘Community is built by being there for each other,’ says store owner about temporary mural solution
Amber Price and Monique Oakley setting the stage for a temporary mural after smash-and-grab at Mary’s on Wellington. (Amber Price/ Facebook)

A 52-year-old Chilliwack man has been arrested in connection with an early morning smash-and-grab at Mary’s on Wellington last Wednesday.

Mary Urquhart, owner of the intimate apparel and sleepwear store, posted Oct. 20 that the downtown institution would be “open” that morning despite suffering yet another break-in through the front window.

It was the second such incident in a week, and it also happened in March 2021.

The beleaguered business owner posted that she was feeling, “extremely defeated/deflated by all of this continual community vandalism!”

RELATED: Looking for clues in 2021 break-in

Several people jumped into action with a desire to help including Jamie Clare, and Kristofer Schmidt, as well as Chilliwack Mural Festival officials Lise Oakley and Amber Price.

The window repairman from Crystal Glass arrived at 1:14 a.m. and worked until almost 5 a.m. removing the broken glass, and boarding up the window.

So the plywood storefront went up, and then they painted over it with black paint in order to place a temporary mural on it, painted by artist Irene Yeramiahina.

Urquhart was thrilled by the quick response, thanking them “for zipping down and making magic happen” by painting over the vandalized storefront.

“Community is built by being there for each other,” Urquhart posted on her social media page on Oct. 20. “You don’t necessarily have to know what you’re doing, you don’t even have to be good at it, you just have to show up, do the work and care.”

She explained that the store has a fully monitored security system and surveillance video, with footage obtained from both incidents which the police retrieved directly from the owner.

The footage shows a male suspect entering the store, taking merchandise and fleeing on foot, and the suspect was subsequently identified and arrested by police later that day.

The Chilliwack suspect, 52, was released pending his first appearance in court.

“The CCTV surveillance footage was key in this investigation,” said RCMP Sgt. Krista Vrolyk, media spokesperson for the Chilliwack RCMP.

Investigators later took the suspect into custody.

It was the “high quality, high resolution footage” that was made available to RCMP that made all the difference, Vrolyk said.

RELATED: Mattress store hit by thieves

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Temporary mural at Mary’s on Wellington. (Amber Price/ Facebook)

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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