Fighting back against burglary in the Valley

BARRY’S BAY – The number of home invasions taking place in and around the Township of Madawaska Valley continues to increase recently. 
Within the last six months, several residents and families have been victimized. 
What’s more to consider, Provincial Constable Darcy Nicol says, a lot of people also don’t report break and enters. 
Just recently, the constable said police were involved with an elderly individual who had some clothing go missing, for example.
Initially, he didn’t feel as though he should report the incident. It was only after a little encouragement, he decided to move forward with contacting the police, Nicol said. 
“People should always contact the police if they believe something has been stolen from their home,” Nicol said. 
Whether it’s a T-shirt or jewelry – the value of an item, or items, it doesn’t matter the constable went on explain. Call the cops and don’t hesitate, she insists. 
An important factor to consider as well, Nicol continued, when someone is victimized, this doesn’t mean an individual or families won’t be victimized again. 
According to Statistics Canada, police-reported crimes are down. But here in the Madawaska Valley and surrounding areas, recently that’s not the case – not when it comes to break and enters, anyway. The number of people experiencing break and enters has certainly increased in the last little while for whatever reasons, Nicol said this past September 25. 
In the last month or so alone, several arrests and break and enters have taken place. 
For instance, about a month ago, sometime in between August 24 and 25, on Highway 60 in Madawaska, a resident had several transmissions for Chevrolet vehicles, a Stihl chainsaw, a Stihl weed eater and a Lennox welder stolen. 
Sometime between the end of August and September 16, a person or persons broke into and entered Killaloe too. Several buildings within the camp were entered, according to Killaloe OPP. 
A residence on Simpson Pit Road in the Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards Township was also recently invaded, sometime between the end of August and September 23. Jewelry and coins were taken. 
Police continue to investigate each of these cases. 
Here in Barry’s Bay, Sandhill Drive residents have also, over the course of the last few months, experienced a higher than normal number of break-ins. 
However, no charges have been laid in regards to these specific incidents, Nicol confirmed last week.
Several of the homes invaded have been seniors too. 
But Nicol was unable to say concretely if there’s been any correlation between the strings of break-ins, or if seniors are the targets of the many recent crimes. 
Sometimes, when it comes to break and enters there are patterns, she said, but not always. It’s difficult to pinpoint whether these crimes have any rhyme or reason, the constable continued. 
For instance, just this past week, two individuals were picked up and arrested in Pembroke and charged with a few counts of breaking and entering, after evidence tied them back to the Eganville area.  
Allegedly, she said, the two individuals were reportedly just walking around banging on doors, seeing if individuals were home, prior to the break-ins. 
This implies, as said, Nicol explained, sometimes these crimes are random. However, the investigation is still ongoing.
But on the other hand, sometimes break and enters are planned – predators do watch for residents’ patterns and observe people’s schedules and routines, Nicol added.
Nicol’s heard from individuals who say they never leave their homes, then for one day, for two hours, they head out randomly for a bit and they’re homes are invaded, so someone was watching.
The Killaloe OPP has also had cases in the area where someone merely left for church on a Sunday morning and returned to find their home ransacked. 
Either which way, whether random or planned, on the contrary, it’s an unfortunate and horrible experience, Nicol said. 
According to Victim Services for the Government of Canada, often, those who are victims of breaking and entering suffer more than just the loss of their property as well. 
See more in the October 2, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.