The main thing we learned from a recent break-in here was that you can never get comfortable with the security procedures you have in place.
We’re 20 minutes outside of Calgary. The entrance gate at the top of a hill is a kilometre to a kilometre-and-a-half walk in. I got a call about 12:30 a.m. that we had motion in the office and the kitchen.
For that to happen, they would seemingly have set off other motion detectors and gone through other checkpoints, so I thought it must have been a surge. We’ve been doing a lot of construction around here and there’s been lots going on after last summer’s flood.
Many times, I’ve driven down there to meet police and there’s been nothing going on. False alarms can happen if something falls, so I called off the police.
I got there around 5:30 in the morning and the gate was locked at the top of the hill, so it appeared that it was a false alarm. When I got in, I turned off the alarm, put my stuff down and walked down the hall and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
I turned on the lights going towards the pro shop, went in and turned the lights on inside the shop. Everything seemed fine, but it was cold. I looked over and there was a window popped open, so I ran to the office and every drawer was open. My office was trashed.
After briefly settling myself down, I called the RCMP and told them what had happened.
They got the float out of the pro shop and a little petty cash, I had a jar of loose change in my office and some American money and other cash in a box in my office, which they got to the tune of a couple of hundred dollars.
They had also taken the key out of the lock box and gone to the halfway house. We found the key in the lock, so they hadn’t broken down the door, but they did take a pipe and broke in to the ATM in there. At that point, there was four feet of snow around the halfway house, so there was no cash in there.
So, they had walked in about a kilometre-and-a-half and popped a window to take two floats and a bunch of loose change to the tune of about $800. They didn’t wreck anything or do any damage to our computers.
We do have video of them.
The one thing I’ve learned from this experience is that I can’t take it lightly and think I can handle it myself. Normally, I would have called off the police and gone down there by myself. Had I done that this time, I could have run right into them.
There have been several break-ins in the area recently, so it is time for a policy change. If anything, this experience illustrates the fact that procedures need to be constantly reviewed and that you can never get too comfortable with them.