Skip to content

Security camera captures sign-stealing fail at Nanaimo clothing store

Owner of NYLA Fresh Thread chalks up theft of heavy metal sign to ‘drunk logic’
The owner of a downtown Nanaimo clothing store has posted security footage of two apparently intoxicated men who stole the store’s sign earlier this month. (NYLA Fresh Thread image)

A suspected case of intoxication appears to have been a motivating factor behind a decision by two men to make off with a heavy metal sign that hangs outside a downtown Nanaimo clothing store.

The theft and getaway was captured by the security camera at NYLA Fresh Thread.

Leon Drzewiecki, who owns the store on Commercial Street, said the incident happened in the wee hours of April 8, but releasing the footage was delayed because it needed to be edited before being posted on social media.

The video depicts two apparently intoxicated men who take an interest in the sign as they make their way past the front of the store shortly after 2 a.m. One man hoists his buddy up on his shoulders to unfasten the sign. After couple of attempts, the sign comes loose, but its unexpected weight causes one to tumble off the other’s shoulders onto the sidewalk, smacking his face onto the sign. After collecting themselves, they run off with the sign and disappear around the corner at Bastion Street.

“The two obviously very intoxicated guys walk by and some drunk logic comes into play and they decide they’re going to get on each others’ shoulders,” Drzewiecki said. “The video’s about 15 minutes long because they start getting it, they get one side off and they actually gave up and they left and then about seven minutes later they came back to undo the rest of the sign. Then karma hits instantly as the guy doesn’t realize it’s over 100 pounds and he just drops straight to the ground.”

Drzewiecki said the sign bearing the store’s logo has hung above the sidewalk since 2014. It was built for him by a friend who normally builds off-road vehicles, and it’s crafted out of a layer of stainless steel, two layers of mild steel and a layer of aluminum. Drzewiecki said the heavy metal sign was built to last and has stood up well to the elements.

The sheer weight of the sign required both men to carry it and, while they did make a quick getaway, they didn’t get far. The sign was returned that same day by two Port of Nanaimo employees who found it ditched on the waterfront barely a block away.

“They walked it about a block around the corner down by the waterfront somewhere and just gave up because it was just too heavy to carry on,” Drzewiecki said.

As for damage costs, he said it cost about $50 to replace the shackles that held the sign.

“It’s slightly bent and there’s definitely some scratches, but I find that just adds character to it,” he said. “Everything in my store is – I like a lot of fixtures and fittings and breathing new life into old stuff.”

The culprits, he said, were lucky to escape their escapade uninjured because if the sign had struck either of them in the head, the injury could have been life-altering.

Neither of the men involved have been identified – Drzewiecki never filed a complaint with the RCMP because he got his sign back the same day and he didn’t see the sense in adding to their workload – but as of Monday, April 22, he estimated the video of the theft has been viewed by about 60,000 people on social media, so it’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes them.

“I’ve watched the video hundreds of times and I get a giggle every time I see it,” he said.

READ ALSO: Menswear shop focused on providing fresh threads

Breaking News You Need To Know

Sign up for free account today and start receiving our exclusive newsletters.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
Read more