A Saanich strata property manager is not sure why his building has emerged as a target for thieves after a second incident in as many weeks.
Conway Carruthers, property strata manager of an apartment building on Rutledge Street, said another individual broke into the building’s underground parking lot early Tuesday morning. Carruthers said he is not clear how the man entered the underground lot, but he may have used a tool to open a door.
The man, whom surveillance footage captured, then pulls the main electrical breaker for the entire property after looking around for a few minutes.
“All the power goes out,” Carruthers. “I wake up from hearing fire alarm system beeping and start investigating the property with my neighbours. We find the [entered] door is open [as it doesn’t close easily]. I turn the power back on, and miraculously find that nothing has been taken, including the computer that is making all the videos.”
This early wake-up call might have affected some 42 individuals, he added.
Last week, two men brazenly stole a handful of bikes and audio equipment after entering that same underground garage.
“Like moths to a flame, the visitor parking at my property is covered from the elements and appears to be secluded enough to not be visible to the outside world,” said Carruthers. “The clear signage indicating surveillance systems in use don’t seem to phase these people at all. They don’t even look at the cameras.”
Carruthers’ comments could not hide his frustrations. “I can continue to secure the building by adding better security to exterior doors, getting alarm systems installed,” he said. “[But] I feel as a Saanich citizen that I have to build a prison around myself to protect my home at this point. It’s only going to get worse as the weather gets colder and wetter.”
Carruthers said he has passed on the video footage to Saanich police.
“This incident was reported to us around 2 a.m. [Tuesday morning],” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie of the Saanich Police. “There are investigative steps that still need to take place before I can comment.”
Last week’s break-in remains under investigation, he added.