UPDATED: Animals scared but unharmed after break-in at Parksville SPCA branch

Heat, power returned to building

Staff members at the Parksville branch of the B.C. SPCA were frustrated and disappointed after a break-in to the building early Friday morning.

District Branch manager Nadine Durante said the incident occurred at approximately midnight. The security company that monitors that area was dispatched to the area when the alarm system inside the building was triggered. It was reported to Oceanside RCMP, and at 1:30 a.m. Durante was informed of the break-in.

The thieves Durante said, gained entry by removing a hydro meter near the side door to cut the building’s power, believing it would disable the alarm system. They then proceeded to smash the side door window, entered and ransacked Durante’s office, opened the drawers and file cabinets, and also tore down a medicine cabinet.

Some of the items stolen included her personal laptop and some technical equipment.

“It’s not going to cost tens of thousands but it’s still significant enough for a non-profit organization,” said Durante. “It’s infuriating that someone would do this.”

Durante said this is the third time in her 12 years as manager that somebody has broken into the facility in Errington.

“It’s the same type of thing, they’re potentially looking for cash or drugs, (and) we don’t have controlled substances on the premises,” said Durante. “It’s really frustrating as a non-profit organization, supported by our community and our donors, to know that we have additional expenses due to vandalism for no reason.”

Durante was more concerned with the welfare of the animals at the facility. She felt relieved to know that they were not harmed but she said the noise made by the thieves would have surely scared the animals.

“Just the intrusion for the animals, who are already at a high stress level in a sheltered environment, for them to be escalated in the middle of the night is absolutely unacceptable and it’s very disheartening that someone would do this,” said Durante.

The building was without power for almost 10 hours, leaving it without heat or phone service. BC Hydro treated the case as an emergency and came in to repair the damage at approxinately 10 a.m. Friday.

Durante said volunteers were told not come in as they remained closed for the day, until the cleanup has been completed.

Durante said the amount of support received from the community was overwhelming.

“They have reached out, from the community and beyond,” said Durante. “I have colleagues, friends of BCSPCA, contacting and sending messages. It’s been very heart-warming and very gracious of everyone. It’s really appreciated. If we need anything, we will certainly reach out to those who offered.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Parksville soccer player invited to elite soccer academy in Portugal

Wylee Franks aspires to become a professional player

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Qualicum Beach volunteer Mark Watson honoured for 30 years of service at fire hall

‘He has such a good spirit in everything that he does’

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Comox’s Kassidy Stewart takes Miss Teen BC title

She is set now to compete in nationals this summer

Most Read