Staff of the Midas automotive centre at the Island Highway and Brechin Road clean up damage to the business following an overnight break-in and theft of two vehicles that were driven through the business’s service bay doors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Thieves smash their way out of Nanaimo auto repair centre to steal two vehicles

Incident happened at Midas on the old Island Highway

Service technicians at a Midas automotive service centre in Nanaimo came to work Tuesday morning, Aug. 9, expecting to repair vehicles, but instead were the clean-up crew following an overnight break-in. Thieves stole two vehicles by driving them through the business’ bay doors.

An employee of the repair shop, at the corner of the old Island Highway and Brechin Road, said the culprits broke in through a bay door window and then broke into a pickup truck and a car, which they made off with by smashing them through the garage doors.

Aside from efforts to clear the debris, staff were busy calling customers to cancel service appointments. They said it could be several days before the business is back in operation.

Nanaimo RCMP confirmed that they are investigating the break-in. Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, said the security motion sensors in the building triggered the alarm system at about 3:30 a.m.

“What we know is a rock was throw through the bay windows, which provided access,” he said.

The suspect or suspects made off with a white 2019 Ford F-350 rental vehicle with no licence plate and a black 2009 Subaru bearing licence plate No. LF1 61C, police said.

The back ends of both vehicles, O’Brien said, would have sustained significant damage breaking through the doors.

Police have little to go on so far. There are no known witnesses and O’Brien said security video footage of the break-in is grainy and not usable for the investigation. Investigators are hoping any witnesses will come forward with information.

“The only thing that’s working to our advantage, as far as the investigation, is that this would have caused a significant amount of noise, especially at that time of night when it’s relatively quiet, so if anybody that was driving around working, driving, walking, whatever, if they heard or saw something – two vehicles would have taken off, probably at a relatively high rate of speed – we’re hoping somebody can help us out here,” O’Brien said.

He said the Midas outlet has operated there for about 40 years and has not has not had any similarly serious incidents.

Anyone with information about the break-in or the two vehicles stolen is asked to the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2022-27497.

READ ALSO: Thief carts off thousands of dollars of dog food from Nanaimo pet store



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Staff of the Midas automotive centre at the Island Highway and Brechin Road clean up damage to the business following an overnight break-in and theft of two vehicles that were driven through the business's service bay doors. 
(Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

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