You’ve heard of wedding crashers, but what about toddler birthday crashers?
One Richmond mom is speaking out after allegedly being on the receiving end of a visit by some uninvited guests, and she said they appear to be repeat offenders.
On Saturday, Stephanie Wong and her husband threw their three-year-old son a birthday party at Richmond’s City Centre Community Centre.
She said everything was going well until they noticed two women who didn’t look familiar and were snapping photos in a photo booth.
She said something felt off, so she approached them to find out who they were.
“We actually asked them, ‘Do you mind telling me exactly where your family is, who you’re with?’ They pointed to a table with a lady with glasses,” she said.
But when they approached the person that the pair had pointed out, she had no idea who the two were.
“By the time we went back to the photo booth, they took their photos, they left the room with a huge plate of food as well,” she said.
“Looking back at our photos, they actually took two photos at the photo booth and we have a photo of them helping themselves to food at the buffet table as well.”
Wong said the incident left her feeling unsettled afterwards, so she posted the photo to Facebook to see if anyone could identify the couple.
At least one person replied saying they recognized the pair, who had allegedly crashed another party and asked for cake and food there as well.
Others said they had similar encounters at parties in public facilities — where passersby assumed the event was public.
Wong said she has reported the incident to the community centre, who told her it had never heard of anything like this before.
CKNW is continuing to attempt to contact the alleged party crashers for comment.
City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend said the Wongs’ story is the first time he’s heard of anything like this occurring at one of the city’s community centres.
But Townsend added that community centres are meant to be public places.
“We encourage people to come and connect with their community there. We want them to be welcoming places. At the same time, safety and security are always a concern.”
He said that’s why it’s important for hosts of private events to keep tabs on guests.
Townsend added facility users can always post signage reminding patrons a private event is taking place.
— With files from Charmaine de Silva.