A Saanich family is lucky the situation didn’t turn out any worse after a house party flew out of control and a safe containing thousands of dollars went missing – temporarily.
Two teenage sisters used Facebook to plan a party at their Broadmead-area home while their parents were out of town on May 4, but the invitation was passed around on social media attracted a number of unwanted guests.
When police arrived late in the evening after being called by one of the siblings, upwards of 70 people were at the house party, described as “just really chaos.”
Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said there were ongoing fights and a number of liquor violations. While police cleared the party, the sisters noticed that some possessions were missing, including a laptop computer.
That item was quickly recovered by an officer monitoring partiers boarding a nearby bus. He found the laptop inside a bag that no one would claim to be their own.
A week later, after the parents returned home, police were contacted again as they had discovered a safe, hidden in a locked cabinet in the master bedroom, was missing. Inside the safe was thousands of dollars and a coin collection, as well as personal and company cheques.
The next day, police were contacted again by the homeowners, saying that the safe had been found – on the roof of the home. It hadn’t been breached, but culprits tried to break it open using a large rock.
Jantzen said detectives believe the would-be thieves were scared off by the arrival of police.
“There is a segment of our population that is looking for these parties with the intention of stealing,” Jantzen said. “You are at risk of this type of fallout if you’re going to advertise your parties on this type of social media.”
He said the family is lucky that the most valuable items were recovered, while a few small possession remain missing.
Offering advice to parents who plan to leave their teenagers at home while they vacation, or even parents who are allowing their kids to have graduation or summer parties, Jantzen said communication is key.
Contact your neighbours so they can keep an eye on your home while you’re gone, and provide family and neighbours with a way to contact you in case of an emergency.