Skip to content

Neighbours raise money for trailer after 78-year-old’s Saanich home ransacked

Anne Tolmie’s house was burglarized as many as six times while she was in the hospital
Anne Tolmie stands in front of her new trailer on June 4, paid for with funds from a GoFundMe campaign organized by neighbours. (Photo courtesy Nathalie Chambers)

After just three days, a GoFundMe campaign for Anne Tolmie – whose Blenkinsop Valley home was broken into several times and left ransacked – has raised enough money to buy her a trailer to live in.

“It’s just been remarkable,” said campaign organizer Nathalie Chambers, a neighbour of Tolmie’s who is also a Saanich municipal councillor. “She feels so loved right now and just uplifted. It’s been beautiful to see.”

The fundraising reached $10,000 quickly enough that Chambers had to shut down donations. She said one local family – Judy, Ray and Rob Galey – donated $2,500.

Chambers said they were even able to get the trailer at a discounted price.

Tolmie told Black Press Media last week that her home was broken into as many as six times in a two-week period, all while she was staying at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Police had responded each time. Tolmie said they did not take her seriously at first, but eventually realized there were repeat burglaries happening and opened an investigation. When neighbours got wind of what was happening, the local community came together, helping to clean up and keep watch.

Tolmie’s home was already not in great shape due to mould in the ceiling, and she had been in hospital since February after coming down with pneumonia. But it was still her home, and still contained all her possessions and family heirlooms.

Without a livable space to go to, Tolmie could not be discharged from the hospital.

Chambers picked Tolmie up from the hospital on Tuesday morning (June 4) and brought her to her new trailer.

“We handed her the keys and she went inside and she was just absolutely astonished,” Chambers said.

The break-ins now have the whole neighbourhood on alert, and they plan to continue helping Tolmie keep an eye on her place.

“Anne is staying there now,” Chambers said. “We have security cameras ordered for her they’re coming in (Wednesday).”

READ MORE: Online fundraising campaign launched after thieves pillage house in Saanich

READ MORE: Police investigating 6 break-ins at 78-year-old’s Saanich property

About the Author: Mark Page

Read more