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Todd Perrin's stolen belongings have been recovered ... his sense of security at his St. John's residence, not quite

Todd Perrin is a co-owner of Mallard Cottage and WaterWest Kitchen and Meats. — TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO
Todd Perrin is a co-owner of Mallard Cottage and WaterWest Kitchen and Meats. — TELEGRAM FILE PHOTO

He and his wife were at home earlier this week when a thief broke in

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Todd Perrin and his wife, Susan, had been in bed less than half an hour Tuesday night when they heard a noise coming from downstairs.

Both early risers for work — he as chef and co-owner of Mallard Cottage and WaterWest Kitchen and Meats, she as a yoga instructor and business owner — it wasn't quite 9 p.m. As they were chatting, Perrin heard a noise he at first thought was a typical creaking house sound. When a second noise came, this time clearly indicating something or someone was moving inside the home, Perrin got out of bed and went to investigate.

"There's someone in the house!" he yelled to Susan from the top of the stairs, seeing in the dark below the shape of a person climbing out a window. Susan called 911 and within four minutes, RNC officers were at their door.

"We had literally gone upstairs maybe 20 minutes earlier," Perrin told The Telegram. "I don't know if the person was watching the house until then or if they came after."

The intruder didn't have an easy entry: it appears they scaled a second-storey deck with no access to the ground, then tried a door before breaking in through a window.

The thief made off with Perrin's work bag: a small, green satchel containing his notebook, some documents and his MacBook. Perrin immediately remotely locked down the laptop, which he describes as being covered in stickers, making it essentially useless to anyone but him, with a message on the home screen saying the computer had been reported stolen.

Officers with the RNC's patrol, K-9 and forensic units got to work at the scene, tracking the suspect from the Perrins' east end/centre St. John's home. They called Perrin Wednesday to let him know his laptop and satchel had been recovered — neighbourhood business owners had reportedly found the items on their property in the morning and turned them in.

The investigation into the break-in is ongoing, RNC Const. James Cadigan said Wednesday afternoon. He's urging anyone with any information about the theft to contact police at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Anyone who finds themselves in a situation like the Perrins did should do the same thing they did, Cadigan said.

"We'd ask people to contact 911 immediately. We have officers working 24 hours a day and they will respond right away," he said, adding that people should not confront an intruder.

This type of crime is considered high-priority, he said.

"It's important that we receive the information as soon as possible."

Cadigan also advised neighbours to look out for each other.

"We need to work together and report anything suspicious," he said, "whether it's a vehicle left parked for a while or noises late at night or someone suspicious hanging around. Even if it's something you're not sure about, call us and we'll look into it."

The break-in was the second time thieves stole from Perrin since the summer. In August, his truck was taken from the parking lot of WaterWest in broad daylight.

Surveillance footage captured a man entering the butcher shop portion of the business while the butcher was in the walk-in freezer, stealing the keys to the truck from behind the back counter and leaving with it. Police recovered the truck days later and a man was charged.

Perrin remains upbeat, saying he's not the type of person to get too worked up when something bad happens, though he admits the home break-in was especially unnerving for him and Susan.

"Where (the thief) got in is literally next to the spot where my wife was watching TV 20 minutes before," he said. "The sanctity of your own space is something you value, and to know someone came in and poked around, it's not a nice feeling. Lucky for us, our floor is quite noisy."


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