CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Kendra Stretch never expected her home to be broken into, especially in broad daylight.
However, the Charlottetown real estate agent is hoping to raise awareness for others after she caught a would-be burglar red-handed outside her home last Friday.
Stretch arrived just as the individual was leaving her Sherwood home, which caused him to leave behind a number of items taken from inside.
She said the incident has taken away from her family’s peace of mind.
“We retrieved the items back, but it’s a personal violation of space,” said Stretch, who spoke about the incident to The Guardian and on her Facebook page in hopes of making others aware.
“I just want people to be aware because I hear people say all the time ‘I don’t lock my doors.’ If this can help one person not be a victim of a home invasion, that was my goal.”
Charlottetown police have arrested and charged a 25-year-old man following a residential break-and-enter Friday afternoon.
He will appear in provincial court at a later date.
Stretch said her family members always locks their doors, and Friday was no exception. But while their back door was locked, it wasn’t fully closed.
Stretch had arrived home around 1 p.m. and noticed a man standing by her driveway.
Not expecting anything suspicious, Stretch first thought the man was delivering flyers.
When she realized the man had a number of bags which belonged to her family, Stretch thought her son may have accidentally left them outside.
She called out to the man, who replied that he was just cutting through her yard.
A vehicle then pulled up and the man quickly left in it.
Stretch then realized what had occurred.
“I opened (the bags) up and it was like ‘oh, we were just robbed,” said Stretch, who noted that inside the four bags were two laptops, an iPad and other electronics, perfumes, wine, razers, cases for sunglasses and jewelry and other collectibles.
“I was fortunate, another minute and our stuff would have been gone.”
Stretch contacted police, who were able to intercept the vehicle and suspect shortly afterwards.
On Monday, a police statement said the investigation remains active, and that further charges may be forthcoming.
The most surprising aspect of the incident to Stretch was the brazenness of the crime.
At the time, a number of Stretch’s neighbours were home and one witness told her the vehicle involved was in Stretch’s driveway for about 20 minutes before leaving and later returning to pick up the suspect.
“They had enough gall to be in my driveway, I could have pulled up behind them,” said Stretch, noting that people often expect break and enters to occur during the night or while homeowners are away on vacation.
“I want people to be aware… I think this goes on more than we realize.”
In fact, the break and enter was not the most recent one reported by Charlottetown police.
Police have since charged a man in relation to a separate residential break and enter that occurred early Sunday morning. Two other men were charged with another break-enter at Mulberry Park Clubhouse later Sunday afternoon.
Stretch appreciates everything Charlottetown police did in relation to the incident.
“I want to thank them for acting so fast and working as a team,” said Stretch, who has since purchased a security system for her home. “It’s well worth the peace of mind.”