A Sturgeon County man is missing more than $10,000 in musical instruments after a residential break-in in July.
Mitch Richardson, who lives in Bristol Oaks in Sturgeon County, said he was the victim of a break and enter and theft on July 6. Richardson said that he thinks it was done overnight while he was sleeping.
“You feel violated, you know? You feel uncomfortable. You have people who have entered your home,” Richardson said.
Richardson had four guitars, a bass, a mandolin, harmonicas and some pedals stolen from a music studio above his detached garage. Overall, Richardson estimates the value of his missing items is around $12,000. He has reported the theft and break-in to the Morinville RCMP.
“They took things that they could get out really quick, I guess,” Richardson said.
One of the guitars had a specific sentimental value because it was bought in an auction and was signed by many different artists.
Richardson said they also went into his garage and stole the battery charger for his wife’s electric bike.
Since the incident Richardson has put a new security system in his home.
The Morinville RCMP said that while they haven’t recovered any of the stolen items yet, they are working with the policing units across the country to try to track down the stolen goods.
Const. Dalton Rouse said that they have already put the items in the Canadian policing database so other detachments are able to help track stolen property across Canada.
The theft at Richardson’s house happened around the same time as two other break and enters in the same area.
A man, who does not want to be named for fear of his safety, said that three masked men robbed his home in Pinnacle Ridge just outside of St. Albert on Tuesday, July 11 while holding him at gunpoint and threatening to kill him. He said security camera footage recording three men coming and going from his home has been turned over to police.
A week earlier five armed and masked men entered an open garage in Riverstone and took items from the master bedroom while the homeowner, Phil, was downstairs resting. He said he did not see or hear the men but security camera footage recorded the five men entering and leaving the garage. The man said he has turned over the footage to police and posted the video to Facebook. He also asked that his full name not be disclosed for fear of further repercussions.
In both of the previous incidents the Morinville RCMP said there have been no arrests made yet.
Sergeant Dale Kendall said that right now they have three suspects in the Pinnacle Ridge and Riverstone incidents but police have not yet laid charges.
“We are still in the process of gathering all the information,” Kendall said.
She said that the investigators are working on gathering all of the information so they can lay as many charges as possible on the individuals. Kendall said they are expecting arrests imminently.
So far, there have been no arrests made from the incident at Richardson’s house.
Rouse said that the detachment has not established a link between Richardson’s case and the other two crimes.
Rouse said that the best way to prevent crimes like this from happening is to leave the exterior lights of the house on, install video surveillance systems in the home and always lock the doors.
“Bad guys don’t like lights. They don’t like anywhere lit up. They like secluded properties. If you can mitigate that risk you can prevent a lot of crime,” Rouse said.
Rouse also asked that the public report any suspicious activity to the RCMP.