The recent influx of breaking and entering (B&E) incidents in Sackville has left community members worried. Since July, approximately 11 B&Es have been reported to the Sackville RCMP and more have occurred without being reported.
RCMP Sergeant Paul Gagné said most B&Es have occurred in a similar fashion, with a single perpetrator wandering through lawns searching for unlocked house or apartment doors, windows and patios. The perpetrator has been stealing items that are immediately visible, whether or not they are of value. Gagné added that the person or people responsible have been spending very brief amounts of time in the homes they break into.
As is common in Sackville, third-year student Marley Caddell and her roommates usually leave their door unlocked. At approximately 12:30 a.m. a few weeks ago, Caddell’s roommate heard scuffling at their door. When she yelled for one of her roommates to come investigate, she heard the front door close. Caddell herself heard a noise, but didn’t think much of it at the time, as she was half-asleep.
In the morning, Caddell was surprised to find that the house’s garbage can was missing. No other items were stolen. Caddell and her roommates have since acquired keys and now lock their door every night.
There have also been multiple reported thefts from unlocked vehicles.
Fourth-year student Eric Maquignaz’s car was broken into while parked on Lansdowne Street in August. Although more valuable items, including a circular saw and approximately $40 in toonies, were lying in his car, the perpetrator stole only items of sentimental value, such as a Mambo Number 5 CD.
The RCMP has made an arrest linked to these particular vehicle incidents and is currently trying to determine if the same person is responsible for home B&Es.
While students all over Sackville have been scrambling to find their keys and get their landlords to make them new one, a Home Hardware representative said that key demand has not increased significantly.
Other students have reported incidents of a more severe kind.
Fourth-year student Samantha Peña lives in the basement of an apartment on Landsdowne Street. Two weeks ago, she awoke at 5 a.m. to a bright light. Upon opening her eyes, she saw a figure crouching in front of the window above her, shining a light at her face.
“I stand up and I see this shape stand up and run,” she said.
Third-year student Sarah Fullerton woke up around 3 a.m. approximately three weeks ago to a figure standing in her bedroom doorway wearing a hat or a hoodie. Thinking it might be a friend, Fullerton repeatedly asked what was happening, but received no response.
“I knew there was someone in our house who shouldn’t be there, but I wasn’t sure what their intentions were or why they were there,” she said. The person then ducked into her bathroom to hide before exiting her house.
Fullerton later found out that someone, presumably the same person, had gone into her roommate’s room a few minutes before going into her own. Fullerton lives in a town house on King Street.
After Fullerton and her roommate reported the incident to the RCMP the next morning, experts took fingerprints from their bedroom doors as well as pictures of their apartment.
Gagné said the RCMP do not think the incident at Fullerton’s house is part of the same string of break-ins, as it is of a different nature than the other reported incidents.
Gagné urges students to report all B&E incidents to the RCMP, whether or not they appear minor.