Chris Wiser of Wiser’s Wide World of Collectibles is still in business despite repeated robberies of his Walnut Grove store.

‘I’m going to try and keep going’

Owner of a Walnut Grove collectibles store says he is losing staff and money following rash of smash-and-grab robberies

An established Langley collectibles store is still open for business, but the owner is feeling defeated after a recent rash of break-ins nearly shut him down.

“I’m going to try and keep going, but I’m losing staff and losing money.  To be honest it makes me feel sick when I think about what has all happened,” said Chris Wiser of Wiser’s Wide World of Collectibles.

On Jan. 5, a vehicle smashed into the boarded-up bay door of the store, at 201 Street and 96 Avenue, hitting the sprinkler system and causing a flood. It was the third break-in in 40 days.

According to Langley RCMP, someone tried to gain access on Dec. 15. On Dec. 18, police responded to an alarm at 4 a.m. and found a pickup truck with its engine running and lights on at the scene. They blocked in the truck but nobody was inside it. In that case, the truck was used to smash into the building. The thieves made off with around $3,500 in hockey cards. Police dogs were called but were unable to track the suspects. Police seized the vehicle.

On Dec. 30, someone tried to drill through the plywood installed following the Dec. 18 break-in, said police.

“This time [on Jan. 5, the smash of the plywood] hit the sprinkler destroying a lot of the store. After 28 years I may have to walk away as my heart is broken,” Wiser wrote on the Wiser’s Collectibles Facebook page.

The flood damaged a lot of the inventory. Police said video surveillance has been obtained and the investigation continues.

During an attempted robbery in late November, a staff member was pepper sprayed in the face.

It’s been a terrible run for a family business that has been the go-to place for Langley families on the hunt for everything from Beanie Babies to comic books and Pokemon.

Wiser believes he is being targeted by a particular group of people.

“They are going after the same stuff, and it is the same amount of people involved in the break-ins,” he said. Wiser would like to see police do more to patrol the area. He is now having to pay to have security on site.

“We’ve been around a long time and tons of Langley residents come see us regularly. It would be a shame if we weren’t here anymore.”

Despite the challenges Wiser faces, he is still putting on a pre-release event for Oath of Gate Watch this weekend. Events are taking place all weekend and registration is required.

If you know anything about any of these break-ins, call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley hospital history recovered

After 16 years in storage, LMH memorial plaques added to museum in time for 70th anniversary party

Heat warning issued for Metro Vancouver

Inland areas expect to hit at least 26 degrees for daytime highs

VIDEO: Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials holds annual open house

Pam and Tom Erikson have 17th annual charitable fundraiser at their private Langley garden

Cloverdale horse barn goes up in flames

Fire crews work for hours to extinguish blaze on 184th Street

VIDEO: Open-to-all sprinter event for dogs comes to Langley

The second event of its kind in Canada since new rules were implemented

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 to start your day

Heat warning issued, man climbs a crane, a dog-sprinting event, and more

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan imposes ‘project labour agreements’ for public works

Climber with broken leg rescued after fall into ravine near Hope

The 26-year-old had a flare to show rescuers where he was.

Trump, Putin sit down a bit late for closely watched summit

Trump and Putin arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit.

In TV interview, Trump claims queen called Brexit ‘complex’

Asked the queen’s view on Brexit, Trump said: “She said it’s a very complex problem.”

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit its putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales in June were down 10.7 per cent compared with a year ago.

Tens of thousands give heroes’ welcome to Croatia team

Euphoria gave way to a mixture of disappointment and pride for Croatia fans after their national team lost to France in its first ever World Cup final.

Most Read