VERNON - Police are looking into an odd theft committed by what appears to be an unexpected culprit — an elderly woman.
Footage captured by a Vernon couple’s surveillance camera shows what looks to be an elderly woman making off with a patio table shortly after 6 a.m. on April 3 in the area of 43 Avenue in Vernon. Homeowners Mike and Andrea Malinosky say the $40 table was brand new and had only been on their porch about 12 hours before it was stolen. Luckily, they had installed a surveillance system just a week before.
“I woke up Mike to check his computer and find out which hoodlums took my patio table and then I heard a bit of laughter and he said, ‘You have to come look at this.’ I was just shocked, it was not what I was expecting,” Andrea says.
They posted the video to a Facebook group in hopes of tracking down the suspect, who neither they, nor their immediate neighbours, recognize. In a frenzy of comments below the video, some question whether the woman suffers from dementia.
“It certainly looks like she had a clear intention and knew what she was doing,” Andrea says. “Whatever the reasons are, it’s not right.”
In the video, the woman creeps onto the porch, picks up the small table and peers through a window before departing. Andrea says she’ll think twice about putting items out on her front porch from now on.
“I’ve always thought you have to trust people, and then the first thing I put out gets stolen,” she says. “It’s sad. You look around and nobody has stuff on their porches anymore.”
Since the Malinoskys posted their video, Andrea says a number of people in their neighbourhood have come forward about items gone missing from their yards, like gardening tools and ornaments.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says his first thought upon viewing the video was that it was a prank, but says police are actively investigating to find out exactly what is going on.
“The question I have is if this individual is doing this kind of thing, what else is she doing? Is it dementia? There’s a number of questions we have,” Molendyk says.
Although it’s a minor theft given the value of the patio table, Molendyk says it is still a criminal offence.
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