Saanich senior says his house was broken into 6 times while he was in hospital

A Saanich senior was shocked to come home after an extended stay in hospital to find the interior had been ransacked and robbed, in what is believed to have been six burglaries.

Anne Tolmie, 78, says antique furniture, mirrors, paintings and even copper pipes – “things that are part of the home” – were stolen from her Blenkinsop Road home while she was in hospital after a months-long battle with pneumonia. .

“Things you wouldn’t think they’d get upset about,” he said.

Tolmie tells CHEK News she first discovered her home had been broken into on Monday, May 20, before things became “chaos” over the span of about a week.

“The most shocking thing for me is the fact that it happened five days in a row, and then a break for one day, and then the weekend started again,” she said in the interview on Monday, May 27, standing in the house that Now it’s a big disaster.

After the first robbery, the damage was minimal, but things got worse when Tolmie returned the next day. “It wasn’t just a case that they examined, it was a case in which they clarified everything. Then things started disappearing day by day.”

Tolmie explains that other belongings were moved from room to room or even taken outside and disposed of in unusual places.

“I found my grandfather’s graduation certificate, which was carefully stored in a drawer in my mother’s bedroom, where no one would ever find it, on the windshield of my car,” he said. “So that was kind of shocking.”

The story continues below.

(Tolmie says antique china is missing from this cabinet.)

Shortly after, Tolmie sought help from authorities and neighbors.

“She had come to the produce stand and was telling me about it,” said Dave Chambers, who runs the nearby Madrona Farm. “She seemed a little apprehensive about going back to her house, and I offered about three times to bring her back… We came back and sure enough, the house had been broken into.”

“I don’t know if it was the second, third or fourth time,” he said.

“That’s when we discovered that all the copper pipes had been cut in the basement and the hot water tank pipes had also been cut.”

So the neighbors came together to help Tolmie clean up. But when they arrived at her house last Saturday, they discovered that she had been robbed again.

“We walked in and the doors were open again and the window was broken. I waited for Anne to arrive 10 minutes later and sure enough, she confirmed that another robbery had occurred,” Chambers said.

Police are aware and investigating.

“Saanich Police have open files on this matter and officers are actively investigating the circumstances,” said Insp. Damian Kowalewich. Tolmie says officers found cigarette butts, a beer can and even a burglar’s crowbar.

“(The police) were not impressed at all the first few days and finally they realized something was really going on and started doing something about it,” he said.

“It’s really sad,” says Chambers

Tolmie isn’t sure what sparked the burglaries, but her house had been empty for a while, and those responsible may have realized this after noticing that the lights were constantly off and the curtains were never closed.

“The place was deserted,” he said.

He has been in the hospital since late February, but was recently given a day pass allowing him to visit home. She is now stuck sleeping in the hospital until she finds other accommodation or her house is returned to livable condition.

“We are going to try to put me in solid and safe accommodation. “They wanted to put me in a nursing home, which is not necessary at this time, but they felt it was a more acceptable environment for me,” she said.

“I think the goal now is to get a care plan so that Anne can get back to a place that is safe to live and save all of her things that are special and the things that are left of her life. ”Cameras added.

“So those things are safe and she’s safe.”

(The bathroom sink was torn off the wall.)

According to Chambers, police are increasing their presence in the area. “There are a lot of neighbors here and a lot of people who really care about Anne, so now eyes are on the property from a lot of angles.”

He describes Tolmie as “witty” and “on the ball” and says that “she has many years to live and wants to return to her property.”

Neighbors plan to create a GoFundMe to help her pay for expenses incurred due to the thefts and cleanup, which “will take time,” Chambers said. “…Her house was completely inhospitable. It is very sad.”

Tolmie has been in contact with his lawyer and adds that he will speak to them on Tuesday “to see what can be done.”

She says she is grateful for her neighbors’ help.

“I think, as always, when bad things happen, it really brings the community together. And that’s what community is,” Chambers said.

“They are incredible. Dave came back with me and when he saw the place and the mess, he was quite incredulous. He then called the police and we continued from there. “It’s really an incredible situation,” Tolmie added.

“There has to be some law and order.”


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