A series of break-ins in the Okanagan has hit multiple golf courses, and the latest at Twin Lakes Golf Course has led to the discovery of a stash house in Kitley Estates.
Kate Trahan, general manager of Twin Lakes Golf Course, discovered they had been the victim of theft in the early morning hours of Aug. 7.
“We arrived at 6:30 (a.m.) and noticed that something wasn’t right, but the weird thing is they just knew where to go for the money, nothing else was stolen,” Trahan said.
The suspects stole money out of a locked cabinet after breaking in through the upstairs window using a sledgehammer, and the office was ransacked according to Trahan.
After calling the police and filing a report, Twin Lakes was contacted by Donnie Turcotte, a man vacationing at St. Andrew’s by the Lake golf course, who was taking his cart for a drive near Kitley Lake Estates when he noticed a house with the garage door wide open. He found three computers, deposit envelops with cash missing and cash drawers from registers at Twin Lakes. There were also various break-in tools.
“What was kind of creepy about it was that we found other stuff mixed in with our stuff, so they have been going back to this one spot every time they rob somebody,” Trahan said.
This is the first break-in at Twin Lakes to amount to more than vandalism, but there have been multiple break-ins at golf courses in the area.
“Hopefully we’re able to catch who did it because Summerland was broken into, we were broken into, Princeton has been broken into, so it’s kind of going on around here right now,” Trahan said.
The tools and evidence were taken in for fingerprinting by police, but Trahan is using the incident as an opportunity to warn people in the area to secure their belongings.
“We’ve had to step up our game because we thought we were safe, but we weren’t, so now we’re going to have to be like Fort Knox,” Trahan said. “We’re just wondering if it’s the same people. We’re letting people in rural areas know that they should really be locking up their stuff because these people had to drive through a whole complex of houses to get into this abandoned house.”
Another issue is the time it takes police to respond to remote rural areas.
“We’re rural and once we get the call it takes 15-20 minutes to drive out here, so we’re telling everyone in the area don’t leave anything unattended, don’t be sleepy anymore because the criminals are here,” Trahan said. “We’ve all been relaxed, we’re comfortable leaving doors open in our houses and everything. That’s just not a good way to go anymore.”