Ramifications of break-in worrying to owner

Homeowner warns residents to keep personal information secure.

They took his personal belongings on Christmas Day, and now a Sicamous resident is concerned they’ll take his identity.

The victim, who asked that his real name not be used, says it was Boxing Day morning when he learned his Bundus Road residence had been broken into. While this was a surprise, the real shock came for him when he returned home and learned the extent of the crime. The thieves had taken the predictable big ticket items such as TVs and other electronics. However, they also made off with furniture, washcloths and clothing – everything from jeans to jogging pants to coats to swim trunks.

“They tried to take my stereo – they took the speakers, the TV, all the big stuff, but the stereo ended up getting dumped on the ground,” he said. “My computers weren’t taken, but the crafty beggars, they took the hard drives out and the memory from the towers, which is another bizarre thing.

“The reason why I say it’s bizarre is they were selective of some items. They took two, giant-sized bean bags that were in my living room. To take these bean bags, it takes a grown man, they were big and heavy. They took two of them… Why would you do that, and be selective with a computer tower?”

The man believes the break in at his house occurred shortly after another break in on Bundus that was deterred by an alarm system. He also believes the thieves had cased his house and were aware of a security system he had in place.

“These guys were professionals; they must have been scoping the place out,” he said. “The cable that comes into my house that supplies me for wifi, they ripped that from the wall, then they went around and pushed all the (security) cameras up before breaking in, and then they just went to town in there.”

One of the items taken from was a gold watch that belonged to the victim’s great grandfather. The man says it was a gift given to his great grandfather from British Ropes Ltd. for 50 years of service.

“It doesn’t have a big value, it was a gold watch, but I think it was probably only worth about $150, so it’s not the value to me,” he said. “It’s the, you know, who gets to work for a company for 50 years these days? It’s never going to happen. So that was just priceless to me.”

The most disturbing and disruptive item to go missing, however, was the victim’s filing cabinet. He says the cabinet contained personal documents from childhood to present, including medical information, receipts, work history and banking information, including the answers to security questions.

“I think it’s going to be a while before I find out what kind of damage these guys could cause,” he said. “The potential is huge. Hopefully, nothing comes with it. Who knows, maybe in five years from now I’ll find out that 10 of me have been cloned out there, my credit’s shot and who knows what else. It’s pretty scary.”

Sicamous RCMP said they have opened a file related to the victim’s break and enter, but had not yet received a list of items taken and, subsequently, wouldn’t comment as to whether similar break and enters have occurred in the area.

The man isn’t keen on attracting more attention, but did want to get the word out in the community about what happened to him so others can take measures to protect themselves.

“More than anything, I just want these kinds of crimes highlighted so that people can take a moment, take stock of their own possessions, maybe hide their paperwork because they’re not safe in files in their own homes…,” he said. “They’re looking for this kind of material. You need to copy it and maybe keep it offsite, because dealing with insurance will be a nightmare if you lose that stuff.”