Vicky Blacquiere returns from trip with son to find home burglarized
SUMMERSIDE — It was a trip of a lifetime for Vicky Blacquiere and her eldest child, Logan, a one-time chance to visit Ottawa and take in a couple of hockey games featuring the 12-year-old’s favourite team and see some of the sights.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Logan Blacquiere stands beside where he gaming consoles and video games used to sit in his bedroom. The 12-year-old and his mother, Vicky, returned from a recent trip to Ottawa to find that their home had been burglarized. Police are investing the break-in and say they do have a lead in the case.
But the high from that extended weekend getaway soon turned to despair and tears as the family discovered soon after arriving home Sunday evening their Summerside home had been burglarized.
“We were home for 45 minutes before I noticed. Nothing down here was touched,” Vicky said, referring to the home’s main level. “They got in through the back door.”
After she had gotten the youngest children settled, gave them small presents she purchased while away, Vicky went into Logan’s bedroom.
“Everything was gone except for the big 185-pound TV that took two people to get it upstairs. That’s the only thing left.”
The back door, which had been locked, was jimmied open.
A large flat-screen television in the living room wasn’t touched, likely too large and too heavy for the culprit or culprits to take, speculated Vicky.
Luckily, her laptop, which was hidden under a pile of papers, wasn’t taken.
Logan’s items — an Xbox 360, purchased last Christmas, a PS2, PS3, all the cables, controllers and a couple dozen games — things that could easily be hidden under coat and carried out without attracting attention, were stolen.
Several Christmas presents, including an expensive electronic educational toy meant for her daughter and a remote control vehicle, were also taken from Vicky’s closet.
Unfortunately, the single mother doesn’t have rental insurance and didn’t have serial numbers recorded for the items.
Summerside police were called in to investigate and were at the home late into the night Sunday.
Officers dusted the home for fingerprints and took inventory of what was taken.
“We have a couple of leads in that case that we are following,” said Sgt. Joe Peters. “It looks pretty positive.”
He said without serial numbers for the stolen items, it makes it more difficult for police to track down and identify what was taken.
“There is no way to prove and establish the items are in fact the ones that were taken. There are a lot of Xbox 360s out there. Unless we have a serial number or some identifiable mark, how can we say that property belongs to that person?”
Unfortunately, said the veteran police officer, the public can learn a lesson from this crime, adding steps can be taken to safeguard a home while away.
“First, let an immediate neighbour know and ask them or a friend in the area to keep an eye on your house,” said Peters. “Don’t let your papers and your mail pile up. That’s an obvious sign you’re away.”
He suggested notifying police if planning to be away for an extended period.
“Some people put timers on their lights, something that makes it look like someone is home in the evening,” added the police sergeant. “If your driveway is open, try to get a neighbour to park there if they have a couple of cars to make it look like somebody is home.”
And, said Peters, do not post on social media — Facebook or Twitter — that you are going out of town.
“It’s certainly a means” for would-be thieves to find empty homes, he added.
Vicky did post a few pictures from her trip on social media but didn’t post before leaving that she was heading out of town. Some people knew they were going away and, she admitted, word could have reached the “right” people that the home was vacant and an easy target for thieves.
She isn’t overly optimistic that the items will be recovered.
Since the break-in, Vicky’s gotten little sleep. The violation has left the mother of three, who is currently off work due to medical issues, sickened and devastated.
“I don’t want to be here.”
Replacing the items will be costly, something she can’t afford.
And, already, she’s looking for another home, feeling unsafe in the rented duplex she shares with her children at McQuaid Court.
Vicky has a message for those responsible for the break-in.
“I’m mad but I am more mad that these were Logan’s things. I took a long time to collect this stuff,” she added. “These were his things.”