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Monday, March 20, 2023
St. Davids neighbours concerned about series of vehicle break-ins and thefts
Kristen and Sean Rose's ATV after it was stolen and crashed into a ditch. It's currently in the shop being worked on. Somer Slobodian

Kristen Rose has lived in St. Davids all her life. Growing up, locking her doors wasn’t something she had to worry about.

Now, she is one of several St. Davids residents who are frustrated and worried after a rash of thefts and break-ins in the area over the last few months.

Thefts have been reported at homes in the Four Mile Creek area and now near Warner Road and Angel Drive. 

Overnight on Sept. 19-20, Rose’s home was hit, along with two others in the neighbourhood, Niagara Regional Police said.

After hearing about the break-ins around Four Mile Creek, Rose started diligently locking her car doors throughout the summer.

However, on the night of the thefts in her neighbourhood, she hadn’t locked her car, and the keys to her husband’s ATV were left outside near the vehicle because he was planning to do some work on it the following day. 

Her husband, Sean Rose, woke up at around 5 a.m. and heard a very loud vehicle outside.

“And it struck me as odd because, like, why is there a vehicle with a lot of exhaust going up and down the road?” said Kristen Rose.

Then, about an hour later, Sean heard his ATV start up and drive away. He jumped into his truck and followed it down the street to where the thief crashed it into a ditch, said Kristen Rose.

Sean said he discovered more than one suspect at the scene, but when he tried to call 911, it didn’t work.

“Bell did not activate the 911 feature on his phone,” Kristen said.

He got the phone about a month ago and has been able to make calls and send texts. After speaking to multiple Bell representatives about the issue, he was told that the 911 feature wasn’t “turned on.”

A representative from Bell Canada contradicted that employee’s assertion and told The Lake Report all phones can readily access 911 calls and don’t need any special connection. 

Rose feels her husband’s inability to call 911 from his phone is a huge safety concern. If it was a potentially life-threatening situation and he didn’t have the ability to call for help.

Officers have released a description of the suspects: Two white males, one in his late 20s to early 30s, skinny with short hair, the other a white male between the ages of 50 and 60, skinny with short hair and glasses.

There was also a female suspect in her 20s, skinny with long hair. 

Kristen Rose, however, said her husband saw three men and a woman that night. 

Police said the suspects drove a car with a loud muffler. However, Rose’s husband said the vehicle he saw was a beige or gold minivan with a loud exhaust. 

There also was a second vehicle, which police described as an older model, dark-coloured GM or Chevy pick-up truck.

The suspects searched Rose’s vehicles, taking items such as loose change, prescription sunglasses and a wool blanket. 

“They had rifled through everything. They pretty much just turned the vehicle upside down,” she said. 

It’s normally a quiet street, said her neighbour Milenko Markovic, whose vehicles also were broken into.

Markovic is missing serveral items, including two GPS devices.

He and his wife moved to St. Davids from Scarbourgh to get away from this sort of thing, he said.

“We don’t want this in St. David’s,” he said.

Markovic has five vehicles and the three that were left unlocked were broken into. He normally leaves his car doors unlocked, but since the thefts, he religiously locks them all.

It’s really unnerving, said Rose, to know that people have such a lack of respect.

She’s now installing security cameras on her property, which is something she never thought she’d have to do in St. Davids.

“They’re willing to walk onto your property, go through your stuff, and take things and it’s a really uncomfortable feeling,” she said.

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