Calgarian Maryam Shafi is asking for the return of an irreplaceable photo and her wedding ring after her home was a target in a series of break-ins in the city’s northeast.
Shafi said she asleep at her home in Manora Place N.E. with her two children when the intruder broke in, apparently by cutting the window screen and entering through an unlocked window.
She said there were no loud noises overnight that would alert her that a stranger was in her home.
“The air conditioner was on so we couldn’t hear anyone cutting the grill and opening the window,” Shafi said.
The pregnant mother said her purse, which was on the dining room table, was stolen. Inside, it contained some irreplaceable items, including the only photo of her dead father and her wedding ring.
“It’s of huge value, that’s the only photo we have… I think they got a chance that night and they took it.”
Shafi acknowledges she should have locked the window and said she’ll be more careful in the future.
“I did not close it, it was partially my mistake, I solemnly agree,” she said.
Man arrested in connection with string of break-ins
Calgary police have arrested and charged a 34-year-old man in connection with a string of break-ins in Marlborough Park between July 12 and July 18.
In each of the three cases, police said the suspect entered the homes in similar ways.
“Someone was cutting the screen or opening unlocked door. When they were inside, they would steal credit cards and those were used at nearby convenience stores for fraud,” Det. Tim Curtis with the Calgary Police Service said.
Jason Foster has been charged with 15 offences, including three counts of break and enter and eleven counts of using a stolen credit card.
“We were able to identify the offender through CCTV used at the convenience stores… we located the offender who was in the midst of selling that stolen property,” Curtis said.
Calgary police said while it may be tempting to leave the windows open — especially when it’s hot out — it’s tempting for burglars too.
“Being the summer months, if you’re going to have your windows open, we encourage them to be non-accessible. The ones that are accessible, we recommend you lock and secure those windows,” Curtis said.
As for Shafi, she is grateful no one was hurt in the break-in. The family plans to double and triple check the locks from now on.
Police are reminding people to establish a routine:
- Remove valuables from vehicles
- Ensure vehicles are locked, windows are closed and if possible, parked in a garage
- Check that all house doors — front, back, side patio and garage — are locked
- Check all window are shut
- Turn on an exterior light