Vancouver fur stores struck again by vandals
Vandals attacked downtown fur and leather boutique Snowflake Monday night with putrid-smelling liquid, just months after the shop's windows were splattered with red paint. (Carmine Marinelli, 24 hours)
Just three months after being coated in red paint, two Vancouver fur stores have been attacked again by vandals who squirted a rancid liquid into Speiser Furs on Granville Street and Snowflake on Pender Street.
Staff at Snowflake could smell the noxious odor even before opening the store Tuesday. The fire department called in the hazmat team to deal with the substance. Store co-owner Megan Halprin believes the liquid was a mixture of spoiled milk and an acid. It caused permanent blotching on the store's hardwood floor and damaged several pieces of clothing.
"It smells as if a baby had thrown up sour milk in your face," said Halprin.
Surveillance video showed two people approaching the store early Tuesday morning disguised in heavy coats, bandanas and hats. They squirted at least a half dozen syringes filled with a white liquid seven metres into the building through a gap in the front doors.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. It comes just three months after the Animal Liberation Front said it was behind a night of vandalism at Snowflake and Speiser Furs, plus Pappas Furs and Capilano Furs. In that attack, vandals threw barrels of red paint at the four stores' front windows.
"These people have been going after us for five years, how is that okay?" said Halprin.
Radical animal rights activists have even thrown paint at Halprin's home and poured bleach on her front lawn.
"Are they going to have to kill somebody before something stops?" she said.
Halprin would like to see changes to the law, allowing police to charge the leaders of activist groups when their members commit acts of vandalism.
"It's not physical violence against a person, but it's psychological violence, psychological warfare, economic terrorism,'' she said. "The consequences need to be just as bad."