A Balfour resident is devastated after falling victim to a break and enter that led to the loss of many valuable pieces of equipment and keep sakes.
Don Renzie is a lifelong Kootenay resident and the single father has lived in his Balfour home for 15 years. After it was broken into last month he said he feels betrayed and that much of what he’s worked hard for is gone.
“Our home went from happy and enjoying everything I bust my ass off for to empty and in ruins,” he said. “My heart for the area is broken. It’s not the same place anymore.”
Renzie is one of many victims of what appears to be a crime spree. Kaslo RCMP report that during the last two weeks of January and in early February, they have responded to a number of break and enters and thefts in the Balfour area.
“The unknown suspect(s) broke into a number of residences, and summer cabins along the shores of Kootenay Lake,” said Cpl. Shaun Begg. “These break-ins appear to be similar in fact and the suspect(s) are looking for and stealing similar items such as hand tools, chainsaws, TVs and small household appliances and electronics
In Renzie’s case, however, the theft was greater. The suspects entered the home while the man was in northern BC working. They smashed a window of his home and found the key to the shop that was then broken into.
Stolen were a 2114 Polaris RZR 800, blue and white in colour with Mainjet stickers, a 2012 Polaris Outlaw 50, blue and white in colour with Mainjet stickers, a 2003 kx 65 dirt bike, green in colour with Mainjet stickers, a Yamaha pw 50 mini dirt bike, blue in colour, a Stihl ms362 power saw with Mainjet stickers and a Honda 2000 watt generator with Mainjet stickers.
Tools, air compressors, two televisions, guns and a gun safe were also taken along with some family heirlooms.
The theft occurred sometime between January 25 and 29 and Renzie has yet to be home to assess the damage. Estimates have the items stolen totaling $60,000.
Renzie’s son is especially distraught.
“My son lost everything I worked hard for him to have,” he said.
RCMP are following up on a number of leads and are specifically looking to speak to anyone who may have observed a light grey mid 2000s Chevrolet ¾ pickup (with a blue Polaris Razor in the back) travelling south on Busk Road between January 25 and January 29.
“Kaslo RCMP are reminding residents to report any suspicious activity and or vehicles in the area, and to ensure that their homes and out building are secured properly,” said Begg. “It is also recommended that residents mark valuable items for identification and where available, to record serial numbers and to obtain photographs of items for investigations and or insurance purposes.”
Kaslo RCMP is requesting the public assistance for information surrounding the thefts, or assistance leading to the location of the stolen property. Please contact the Kaslo RCMP 250-353-2225 or call Crime Stoppers 250-352-8288