An antique window was destroyed at Terrace’s historic George Little House in the latest of several break and enters.
At approximately 12:30 a.m. on June 20, police were notified of a forcible entry into the city heritage site that left glass shattered and old wood-panelled frames broken.
“When they broke in, they wrecked things and they wrecked the 1914 frame around the window, that’s going to be hard to replace,” says manager Debbie Letawski.
“They broke the whole frame, just busted it off to pieces… the city is going to have to try to figure out how to [fix] this again [using] taxpayers’ dollars.”
Letawski says only the cash register was stolen, which had a few keys with “some dimes and nickles,” but the first floor souvenir shop was ransacked.
She says in the last six months, there have been other break-ins at the George Little House but this one has made the deepest impact.
“My devastation is whenever somebody breaks in here and wrecks things, this is what I’m supposed to be taking care of and this is where I get emotional,” she says. “The break-ins are getting worse and more brazen… I feel like I let the house down.”
Prior to the break in, George Little House ordered high-tech surveillance cameras with face detailing and “howler” sirens to scare off intruders. They arrived the morning after this latest break in, and were being installed at the time of writing this story.
The camera’s were funded by the matching security grant offered by the city and the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area (TDIA) society.
Police have concluded their investigation with no arrests.
Doubling as a VIA rail station and heritage site, the souvenir shop carries a lot of high-valued items but because none of it has been stolen in the series of break and enters Letawski suspects addiction was a motivating factor.
“They’re probably desperate just for cash… I think our meth problem has a lot to do with that, they’re not looking for stuff,” she says. “I think it’s desperation… anybody that’s got a drug problem like that, don’t care.”
Last month at a city council meeting, RCMP Cst. Jeff Campbell confirmed there is a rising meth problem in Terrace.
Letawski says she hopes that once the cameras are installed and more security patrols are funded for the downtown area, it will help deter further break-ins.
If anyone has more information, contact the Terrace RCMP at (250) 638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS, online at www.terracecrimestoppers.ca.