Halifax couple shocked after family cars broken into while mom gives birth

Click to play video: 'Global News Morning Halifax: May 25' Global News Morning Halifax: May 25
The online edition of Global News Morning with Paul Brothers and Alyse Hand on Global Halifax – May 25, 2022

When a young couple checked into the IWK children’s hospital in Halifax with a baby on the way, the last thing on their mind was security of the hospital’s underground parking lot. Now they’re paying the price.

Steven and Hannah Boudreau went to the South Street hospital on May 20 as Hannah was due to give birth to their daughter that weekend.

Overnight on May 21, not one but two of the family’s vehicles were broken into – both parked in paid underground parking.

“We had all of our electronic devices in there, they were all stolen from us,” said Steven Boudreau.

Clothes, shoes, video games, a work laptop and cash were also taken.

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The 38-year-old father was “amazed” that something like that could happen at the hospital.

“This would’ve been one of the places that would feel the most safe.”

The family brought all of those items because they were checked into the hospital for several days, and wanted things to pass the time during long waits.

Boudreau said his mother-in-law’s vehicle was damaged and vandalized, with liquids from old coffee cups and water bottles dumped over the seats. Her doors were locked, Boudreau said, so they think the perpetrator got in through the trunk.

He said they didn’t lock the doors on his car, so nothing was broken to get into the vehicle. But, he said he doesn’t doubt the thief would’ve entered either way. His vehicle was “rummaged through,” with all of their belongings thrown around, including paperwork from the dash.

“It wasn’t a very good morning to go out there and find that,” he said. “We felt it was secure and apparently it’s not.”

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His wife Hannah didn’t find out about the parking lot robbery until much later. “We didn’t want to alarm her too much, so we kind of just kept it to ourselves at first,” Boudreau said.

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After seeing what happened, Boudreau first went to the on-duty security guard and explained his situation. Expecting some level of support, Boudreau said he was shocked by the response.

“The security officer told us people have a false sense of security when they’re here at the IWK, and that they shouldn’t expect anything to not get stolen.”

According to Boudreau, the guard also said car break-ins happen often.

Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

An email statement from IWK spokesperson Ben Maycock, read in part:

“The IWK is always concerned when we learn of thefts from vehicles parked on our property… The IWK public parkade is equipped with video surveillance and our protection services team conducts regular patrols.”

Maycock also said parkers are reminded to not leave valuable items in their vehicles, or leave them out of sight.

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“Signage is visible throughout the parkade advising parkers that the IWK is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Additionally, a reminder to lock vehicles is included on the back of each parking entry ticket,” read the statement.

The IWK said it also works closely with police investigations.

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What they lost will be difficult for the Boudreaus to replace.

The young family lives as a one-income household. After renting a house that was affordable for them for years, Boudreau said the homeowner decided to sell the house when the market was hot. This forced the couple to find a new place to live.

“When we finally did find an apartment, the rent is $1,750 a month, for a simple two-bedroom apartment, which is almost double what we paid to live in a house before COVID happened.

With the price of gas reaching record prices over and over again, and living costs rising in general, it’s becoming difficult to stay afloat for most.

With a newborn, Boudreau said they’re feeling the pinch, and being robbed of all of their electronics while in labour was the final straw.

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“It’s a major setback for us,” he said.

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He also sent an email to the IWK through the patient feedback line, and made an official police report for both vehicles.

“The only thing that was offered to us was to put it through our insurance, but that’s not an option for us. We wouldn’t even be able to afford to pay the deductible for the insurance.”

The family expects to be at the hospital for another few days, about 10 days in total since they checked in. But they’re not leaving a vehicle in the parking garage again.

“I actually have my work truck here today,” Boudreau said Tuesday night. “I had to ask the security guard to come up and keep a close eye on it for me so I can come up and visit my baby and my wife.”

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They’re sharing their story to warn other families who may have that “false sense of security” there.

Boudreau added his family is hoping to get reimbursed for some of the items, but at this time that doesn’t seem likely.

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“What’s relieving about our story is that our child is not here for anything serious. If you had a child here who was more seriously ill it would be an even worse situation,” Boudreau said.

“I hope nobody else has to go through this.”

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