Addictions leading to more thefts, break-ins

Teresa Wright
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Allison Barratt posted this sign outside her home to warn her neighbours after thieves broke into her van earlier this week in Charlottetown. Police say thefts and break-ins are a growing concern.

Charlottetown woman loses sense of security after gifts stolen from her van in driveway

Security tips

• Install a good quality deadbolt lock on the door and a security strike plate on the door frame.

• Place a dowel or stick in a sliding window or door track.

• Garages are a favourite target for thieves. Keep your garage door locked, even when you are at home.

• Before going on vacation, cancel or redirect your mail and deliveries.

• Do not post that you are out of town on social networks, i.e. Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown.Earlier British Columbia

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Recent comments

  • Darlene
    October 18, 2014 - 17:51

    it is so sad when this young lady was showing gratude to her neighbors and the thieve of the night stole this away pei is getting worse that some of the big cities in ontario or other big urban centers

  • Kind of funny
    October 18, 2014 - 01:09

    I believe she meant to spell "night" not nite.

  • fellow islander
    October 17, 2014 - 21:42

    I feel badly that your thank you gifts got stolen. It is true that thefts seem to be on the rise. I do think you are over reacting though. Really, why would you feel any less safe then before? Your vehicle got broken into. Yes, some things are missing, but really if you hadn't of left gift bags in your vehicle, you wouldn't feel any less safe then before. To cancel a trip, etc is ridiculous in my opinion. You are blowing this way out of proportion, and this could of have been a non issue if you didn't leave valuables in your car. Ridiculous!

  • Old School Islander
    October 17, 2014 - 17:01

    The Bible says that poor thieves, who cannot make restitution for what they have stolen, are to be sold into slavery. If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. ... If he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. -- Exodus 22:1-3 The Quran says that we should cut off their hands. As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. -- Quran 5:38 I am a firm believer in personal property rights and capital punishment.

  • good luck
    October 17, 2014 - 15:36

    While it is terrible if someone is a victim of theft, people should fully know NOT to leave items in cars. Good reminder. How come , because of this theft, she cannot travel to BC? Its terrible she was a victim. I hope she does not let it rule her life, as there are far worse and frightening things in the world. I do hope they find the culprit and it gets resolved for her. Also it is good not to label all PEI under 1 label. There are good and bad everywhere, small and large places.

  • crime hurts
    October 17, 2014 - 15:21

    Put a bear trap in a bag covered in tissue paper.then when they to the hospital missing a hand you know who did it.

  • WayneDrops
    October 17, 2014 - 13:39

    Buy a gun, shoot first, ask questions later! That may not work with the Liberal pansies of todays world!

  • Quiet Observer
    October 17, 2014 - 12:36

    Maybe it was someone addicted to VLTs. Funny, everyone seems to have all kinds of sympathy for those addicted to VLTs and are more than happy to get them treatment.

  • always governments fault?
    October 17, 2014 - 11:30

    You can't always blame the government. Where are the parents of today's youth? Parents need to act like parents, not friends. Keep your damn kids in line. I'm not saying it will fix the whole problem, but I bet it will make a huge impact. Not much you can do after they leave the nest, but in most cases if you did your job, you won't need to do anything.

    • Parent
      October 17, 2014 - 13:48

      That is utter and total crap. The best parenting in the world won't stop a kid from getting addicted to opiates if they try them. Kids have been experimenting with alcohol and drugs for years and years but there has never been anything remotely as addictive as what is out there now. A child can be addicted in a weekend from something that is so small no parent could even see it and a child can get it on the streets of Charlottetown, easier than they could get cigarettes. It is this backward way of thinking that is keeping the problem alive and well on PEI. Parenting is only one tiny part of the equation. Removing opiates from the street, stopping the over prescribing by doctors and providing adequate and quick treatment as is the responsibility of the Health PEI for this disease, as for all diseases, are the other parts. Look how many people have died from this disease... did everyone of them have bad parents? Why not spend some time actually learning about this disease before you blame the very people who would do ANYTHING to make it go away.

    • LOL
      October 17, 2014 - 16:56

      You must be the perfect parent. ..or not a parent at all. Walk a mile in the shoes of an addicts parents shoes.

  • Observer
    October 17, 2014 - 10:48

    Not every thief is mentally ill or an addict. Sometimes it's just opportunity or the "thrill" of it. Even Collins says: "...young offenders and ...from more stable, secure homes." How about actually punishing some of the offenders, instead of suspended sentences or house arrest? And enforcing restitution orders? No consequences = no reason not to do it.= no remorse.

  • John
    October 17, 2014 - 10:25

    This is nothing new in Charlottetown. I have my '66 Dodge broken into in the early 80's (I got over it!). Don't leave anything of value in your vehicle in sight for opportunistic thieves. Common sense is a commodity in short supply.

  • LA
    October 17, 2014 - 10:15

    This happens everywhere in the world and does not mean it's not a "nice place to live". For example unlike larger cities you're not likely to get murdered in an alley for your pocket change. Some people's expectations seem a little unrealistic - drugs are everywhere. I feel bad for her but putting full and visible gift bags in your car is literally asking for a break-in. Being a "nice place" does not automatically translate to "zero theivery".

  • where are the police patrols??
    October 17, 2014 - 10:07

    Was the van locked?Do not leave anything of value or attractive in your veh..that people can see!!! Put lights in your driveway!These thefts occur everywhere not just have to be individualy responsible by doing the above ,NO doubt these were druggees(real criminals avoid this crap)....they are apprehended and then out the door to violate probation,associate with other druggees...more people get victimized.....jail them more often........the days of holding their hands and saying the poor things have addiction issues ..only goes so far ..THEY DON"T CARE and know how to use the system.What part of the city was this?? tell people so they can keep an eye out.........Also where are the police patrols at night ...they are never in the side streets, at night ...these people are on foot most of the time.. or driving junk .....I do see the RCMP in the residential areas of STRAFFORD.....stopping veh's.....but no matter who you are be the cops for anything....

  • PEIParent
    October 17, 2014 - 10:05

    @In my opinion - if the PEI government is responsible for health care for islanders, and some islanders have a disease that the PEI government is not providing treatment for (and treatment does exist), who do you blame? If a family member had cancer and there was treatment for that cancer, and your family member was denied that treatment, who would you blame? Lung cancer is caused by smoking. It is a disease exactly the same as addiction. Stop protecting this useless bunch we elected.

    • Oh right
      October 17, 2014 - 12:06

      I woke up with a headache this morning...oh right...I blame it on the government.

  • Just add drama
    October 17, 2014 - 09:08

    This happens to people here and in every other city in Canada every day. Likely the thief looked in the windows of her van and saw the gifts, so they broke in. It is frustrating for sure, and people should be aware that items of value should never be left in their car, especially with Christmas coming up. The people who steal from cars and homes aren't thinking about how it affects the victim, because they really don't care. It is all about how it can help their own situation, and nothing more. If this article is intended to make the thief feel guilty about what he or she has done, well... don't count on it working. I do feel badly for her, but I believe that the addition of the story about not getting to see her sister because of the theft was to add drama; the journalist was reaching far in an attempt to make it a good sob story - to make it seem like it's worse that it happened to her than it would have been if it were somebody else. Sadly, an alarm system on your house isn't going to stop people from breaking into your car in the future. Is she in her bath robe?

  • protect yourself
    October 17, 2014 - 09:03

    this is sad; however, how many times do people need to be told not to leave valuables in their cars and to lock their doors?

  • Doesn't Matter
    October 17, 2014 - 07:51

    Is this really new? Does this have mass appeal? Lacks detail. "Allison Barratt no longer feels safe sleeping in her own home in Charlottetown." No longer safe in home....? The story is about a car...Don't leave stuff in your car. I'm sorry for your loss, but this is not news, this happens everyday to someone. Gifts and a trip to BC have quite the cost difference. Seems like some leaps may have been made here. Wake up Charlottetown. Welcome to the real world.

    • Agree
      October 17, 2014 - 09:07

      You are right!! Vehicle break-ins are not a new thing in this city. How many times do the police have to warn people not to leave valuable items in their cars????

  • therod
    October 17, 2014 - 07:40

    Moral of the story is to not leave valuables in your vehicle in plain sight. Especially overnight. I've lived in some extremely sketchy areas over the years and have yet to have a vehicle of mine broken into.

  • TheyKnew
    October 17, 2014 - 06:16

    I hope that come election time every one remembers that Ghiz and Currie knew this would happen and yet they had and continue to have, much higher priorities like the hills in Borden and that it took literally years to get to the point of even saying that they are going to renovate an existing building and transfer beds to hasn't happened yet! And at the end of the day, even though there are 6 more beds for youth, the program is longer so the same amount of kids will be helped... not more kids... people need to get that point and that there is only for youth. Parents, the problem is getting worse. The cost of treatment is way cheaper than policing, court and jail time but unfortunately the current crew would rather ignore that fact so that they continue to go on trips to China ...check out how many staffers are attending this trip...some who were "given" their jobs without competition. The cost of this one trip alone would have helped a lot of people. Their lack of action is putting lives at risk - from addictions and from crime to say nothing of what he is putting families through. Addiction is a disease... why is the Minister of Health not doing more to eradicate this disease? Studies, studies and more studies - and yet the problem is getting worse.

    • in my opinion
      October 17, 2014 - 09:10

      Why do some people automatically blame govt for the issues of society. Now I'd be the last one to stick up for govt but read the court news. It's always someone else's fault - no one takes ownership any more.