Multiple break and enters occur in Princeton

Residents should be aware that break and enters are most certainly on the rise, including theft of property.

Thrift store manager

Thrift store manager

During the last week of June, local RCMP issued a news release that stated, “RCMP have seen an increase in the number of rural break and enters and property thefts,” and that, “Residents are asked to report any suspicious activity to police and to secure their belongings.”

Residents should be aware that break and enters are most certainly on the rise, including theft of property. There are a number of recent incidents that have occurred, causing concern.

During the early hours of Monday, June 30, three local businesses were broken in to and the Community Garden at John Allison Elementary School was raided.

CoCo’s Bistro/Cowboy Coffee, the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store and the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Info Centre were targeted.

Both the thrift store and chamber buildings received damage as the perpetrator(s) used a crowbar to break the locks of the doors to gain entry.

At the Chamber/Visitor Centre, the back door was broken and funds being collected for Princeton Girl Guides (their cookie money), breast cancer research, search and rescue and the cash float. “The damage bothers me,” said manager Lori Thomas, “But what bothers me the most is that it’s just hideous and low that someone would steal from little girls and non-profits.”

The thrift store was badly damaged, with the frame needing repair as well as  a new door installed. “It was obvious they were looking for something,” said Penny Davidson, store manager, “The police told us that they broke in using a crowbar.”

Local resident, Solana Allison happened to be walking past the store on Monday and seeing the frustration of the volunteers, sprang immediately into action.

Allison made some temporary repairs, enough to be able to lock up the store for the night, left and returned with a brand new door, which she not only donated to the auxiliary, but installed on Tuesday morning.

“She took time out of her schedule to help us out,” said Davidson, “She even paid for it out of her own pocket. We just can’t thank Sol enough!” she exclaimed.

Cst. Kris Clark, Acting District Advisory NCO (Media Relations) of the South East District, recommends businesses invest in a good alarm system – better yet, a video surveillance system. “I can’t promote it enough,” said Cst. Clark, “there are affordable and excellent high definition cameras that work in low light that can allow us to identify a suspect.”

It was also reported to The Spotlight, that during Mother’s Day weekend this year, the training canoe at the Princeton Centennial Pool was stolen.

The Spotlight checked with local insurance providers, Westland and Valley First.

Manager Sharon Laine of Westland Insurance and Linda Thompson of Valley First Insurance both stated that homeowners/business would receive better rates on their insurance, should they have a security system.