A Burnaby family is describing a terrifying encounter in the hope their experience will prompt others to “think like a thief” in their homes.
CTV News is concealing the identity of the Capitol Hill family as they’re fearful the thieves will re-victimize them. The two men caught breaking into the house on surveillance video have not been caught.
While it’s possible the thieves didn’t realize two people were home, the family felt like they survived a home invasion.
"A home invasion is pretty scary. My daughter's traumatized. I am -- my head is spinning," the homeowner told CTV News.
His 20 year-old daughter had been in the basement playing with the family dog while his 77-year-old mother was upstairs sleeping. She had no idea a thief was slinking up the stairs, heading straight to the master bedroom in search of a safe.
"We take it for granted. The safe is heavy -- who would carry that thing?" the father told CTV News. He says it held a few family mementos, as well as a hard drive and SD cards with precious family photos and videos.
"All my kids’ photos, family pictures when from they're young, stuff like that,” he said. “Those are irreplaceable.”
What’s most disturbing to the man is that his daughter came face-to-face with one of the masked men when she went upstairs in response to the dog’s strange behaviour.
“My daughter was shocked [because] he confronted her and told her to go back downstairs.”
She did, calling 911 to let them know thieves were still in the home.
CTV News asked Burnaby RCMP why there hasn’t been a warning with the images posted to the neighbourhood. In an email statement, Cpl. Daniela Panesar replied, “In this case, other important investigative steps are being taken first.”
Panesar went on to say the incident is still under investigation and “we would ask that anyone who recognises either of the suspects to call Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).”
The homeowner wants other families to know the plastic stoppers that came with his windows failed to stop the thieves, and that they later discovered the rear garage lights had been unscrewed to make the area dark and harder to see. He’s also encouraging people to set the alarm, even while they’re home – something he wishes his loved ones had done to avoid the distressing experience.
"When you're in the house don't take it for granted you're safe."