The woman had just returned home from work and was having a shower when she heard the doorbell ring at her west Abbotsford home.
She ignored the sound, but when she came downstairs, she spotted a car in her driveway with the driver still inside. She ventured outside, just in time to see a second man punching numbers into the keypad of her garage.
“Who are you? What are you doing?!” the woman asked.
The man stopped and, without saying a word, got into the passenger seat of the vehicle, and the car pulled away.
Now, the woman’s daughter, Preet, said she and her family are unnerved about having been the potential victims of a break-and-enter in an area that has experienced a rash of them since last fall.
The latest figures from the Abbotsford Police Department indicate there have been 33 home break-ins in the Townline Road and Blueridge Drive area from Nov. 5 to April 26.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the suspects have targeted mainly jewelry, cash and laptop computers. In one of the thefts, the culprits made off with $50,000 in jewelry, electronics and foreign currency.
They have mainly entered the homes by prying open locked windows at a time when the residences are unoccupied.
MacDonald said the culprits likely have been observing the routines of residents in the area before targeting specific homes.
That concerns Preet and her family. They believe the thieves had been watching their home for days, learning their routines and observing the code they were entering on their garage keypad.
The incident took place on the one night of the week that the family usually isn’t home, but Preet’s mom came home from work two hours early that day.
Preet said they are concerned that if the suspects had entered the home and been startled by her mom, they might have harmed her.
The family now ensures there is someone home at all times, and they have installed video surveillance cameras on their property.
“We’re so scared … It’s very, very unnerving,” she said.
The family also initially had concerns that when calling to report the incident to police, they were not given a file number nor did anyone follow up with them. Police have since looked into their concerns, and MacDonald said it was discovered that an error in judgment by a call-taker resulted in the information not being forwarded to investigators.
Police have since made contact with the family, and Preet’s mom has provided suspect and vehicle descriptions, which police are not releasing at this time, to avoid hindering the investigation.
Day and night patrols have been stepped up in the area.
Residents are asked to continue to report suspicious activity by calling the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or texting abbypd (222973).