Police say with 23 break and enters in the city every day, it’s the number one crime on the minds of Calgarians.
It’s also a top priority for the Calgary Police Service.
“I’ve had my house broken into,” Chief Roger Chaffin told Global News. “Anybody who has had their house broken into or car stolen knows how deeply invasive it is, how personal it is.”
‘I thought he was going to cut my throat’: Calgary police investigate home invasions in Springbank Hill, Mayland Heights
New Calgary police break-and-enter teams recover $850K in stolen property
READ MORE: New police strategy for break and enters targets prolific offenders in Calgary
Viktoriya Samarina and Michael Lindenbach had their southwest home broken into in early December.
Any feeling of comfort they had was stolen from them, along with many of their belongings.
“It was just terrifying—that feeling knowing that someone had been in your house or could be in your house,” Samarina said. “It was just absolutely paralyzing.”
There was no sign of forced entry into their home.
Instead, thieves got in with a key from a realtor lock box.
“Our house is listed for sale and there’s a real estate lockbox out front that we have been told is unbreakable. They took it, smashed it,” Lindenbach explained.
He said thieves also took the time to lock up after they left.
READ MORE: Calgary family awakes at 2 a.m. to man standing in hallway
It’s a new trend police are investigating in Calgary.
It shocked the Calgary couple, who had done everything they thought they should to protect their home.
“It’s almost like they could go online and look at our listing and see what we have because it almost seemed like they knew what they were doing,” Lindenbach said.
The new Calgary Police Break and Enter Team has worked closely with the couple. It took just two days for investigators to solve the crime and the couple has been able to get much of their stolen property back.
READ MORE: Police probe more than 40 northeast Calgary break-and-enters
The one thing that can’t be replaced is the one thing the pair values the most: peace of mind. They’re worried the impact of the break and enter will never truly go away.
“Just feeling uncomfortable in your own home. It used to be my sanctuary where I escape from the world and now every little noise makes me jump,” Samarina said.
“It’s terrifying, it’s scary. You hear noises, and you check your locks five times before you go to bed,” Lindenbach added. “You are uneasy.”
Part II of our special series: New unit seizes over $1M in stolen property, lays hundreds of charges
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