Abbotsford restaurant owner crashed after an event tent used for outdoor dining was stolen and its replacement is expected to cost more than $ 5,000.
Cara Truong, who with her husband Troy has owned Mandarin Garden at 31549 South Fraser Way since 2006, said the wedding-style tent was one of two they rented since dining inside was banned by the province in April.
Video surveillance indicates that the tent was stolen from around 3 a.m. Friday (May 14) by two men and a woman. The tent was rolled over the parking lot by a man and thrown over a fence onto a walkway, Truong said.
The man then returned and took down the posts, smashing the restaurant patio lights in the process.
Truong said a man and woman then introduced themselves to the camera, taking one of the poles together.
She said the event company they rented the tents to now requires them to replace the stolen one.
The cost of the tent is around $ 4,500 to $ 5,000, and each of the two walls that was also stolen is around $ 450, Truong said.
She said if they chose to use their insurance to replace stolen items, they would pay a $ 1,000 deductible and their insurance rates would increase in the future.
She said the theft is so upsetting because it comes at a time when their restaurant – like most in the industry – has been hit hard by COVID-19 protocols and is hanging on to survive.
âThis entire year since the pandemic, we have done nothing. In our business, we are constantly losing money. We try to keep the business afloat using our own resources, âTruong said.
She said that before the pandemic, Mandarin Garden could accommodate a total of 188 customers and employees. When indoor meals were allowed, but tables needed to be spaced, they were less than halfway.
Now, with only patio dining allowed, Truong said they can accommodate 32 guests at a time.
She said the theft from the tent exacerbates other problems that arose during the pandemic, including recent scams by people to get food without paying for it.
In one case, a woman who ordered delivery over the phone indicated that she would pay by debit or credit card. But when her food was delivered, her debit card didn’t work and she said she couldn’t find her credit card.
The delivery man felt bad because the woman’s children were screaming in the background, saying they were hungry, so the food was left. The woman promised to find her credit card and pay the $ 80 bill the next day, but she never did.
“In the past, we hadn’t been ripped off like that with delivery slips … In the past, if someone couldn’t pay, and they promised to come back the next day to pay, they always did,” he said. said Truong.
She thinks whoever stole the tent probably did it for his personal use – possibly for a wedding – but hopes he will return it. Truong said the people in the video did not appear to be homeless.
The matter was reported to the Abbotsford Police Department.