Rob­be­ry vic­tim­warns others to be wat­ch­ful

Rea­dy for­more ac­tion

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Per­rot re­sident James Cuin says he found out the hard way what it’s like to have his security in­va­ded, his be­lon­gings stolen and his peace of mind com­pro­mi­sed.

And he hopes others can learn from the ex­pe­rience.

Cuin, who re­ti­red ear­ly form a job at CP Rail due to a heart condi­tion, be­lieves he as his wi­feMi­che­line’s trouble be­gan last fall while he was plan­ning a hos­pi­tal stay to have a pa­ce­ma­ker/de­fi­bril­la­tor re­pla­ced in his bo­dy.

“My wife and I conclu­ded it would be a good idea to have a (high de­fi­ni­tion) TV box ins­tal­led in the mas­ter be­droom,” before the sur­ge­ry, he ex­plai­ned, ad­ding “This would give me a chance to watch my fa­vou­rite pro­grams du­ring re­ha­bi­li­ta­tion wi­thout (going) up and down the stairs.”

The couple, who have been mar­ried 43 years, contac­ted a cable com­pa­ny to up­grade the di­gi­tal re­cei­ver in their be­droom to a high de­fi­ni­tion box.

Cuin, who did not iden­ti­fy the com­pa­ny, says two men sho­wed up to ins­tall the equip­ment lastOc­to­ber.

A recent spate of rob­be­ries in homes has at least one Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes re­sident won­de­ring if po­lice and those being tar­ge­ted are doing all they can to prevent the rob­be­ries.

Though he can­not prove it, he now be­lieves the in­ci­dent­was sus­pi­cious.

“They ad­vi­sed us they were sub­con­trac­tors,” he ex­plai­ned, ad­ding, “I was a lit­tle concer­ned that they were two, but I got the im­pres­sion that one of them was trai­ning and I did not give it a se­cond thought.”

Since his wife was coo­king sup­per at the time, Cuin sho­wed the men to the mas­ter be­droom.

He said one tech­ni­cian ad­vi­sed him they were ha­ving pro­blem­swith their­work.

“He as­ked me to show him where the main cable en­tran­ce­was. (He said) his part­ner would conti­nue to se­tup the re­cei­ver in our room.”

Ac­cor­ding to Cuin, one wor­ker was left alone in the be­droom­for about 10mi­nutes.

“In the ex­ci­te­ment of get­ting (the new sys­tem,) I over­loo­ked the fact that the other tech­ni­cian re­mai­ned alone in­my be­droom,” he said.

The same room, he no­ted, where the couple kept a hea­vy safe contai­ning heir­loom je­wels, pas­sports and­more.

“Ne­ver in 15 years has so­meone other than ourselves been in our room and the small circle of friends we have ne­ver knew we had a safe.”

Com­pli­ca­ting things fur­ther, a dif­ferent tech­ni­cian re­tur­ned to the home the next day as the­work had not been com­ple­ted the pre­vious day.


A lit­tle more than a month la­ter, af­ter a short din­ner out one Sun­day night, the couple re­tur­ned home to dis­co­ver their house had been bur­gla­ri­zed.

And that the 250 pounds safe in their be­droom­clo­set had been stolen.

The safe contai­ned ap­proxi­ma­te­ly $35,000 in je­wel­le­ry, which Cuin says his wife had in­he­ri­ted from her mo­ther, plus je­wel­le­ry pur­cha­sed to­ge­ther du­ring 43 years of­mar­riage.

Gone al­so were pas­sports, in­su­rance pa­pers, house ow­ner­ship pa­pers and more. “Our life was in that safe...It has been a night­mare trying to put all this to­ge­ther again,” Cuin no­ted.

Cuin says it took two mo­vers equip­ped with hea­vy straps to get the safe to the be­droomw­hen the cou­ple­mo­ved to NDIP 15 years ago.

“This was not so­me­thing that could be ta­ken on aw­him.”

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion

SQ po­lice de­tec­tives re­spon­ded to the call th­ree hours la­ter, ac­cor­ding toCuin, as there had been ano­ther emer­gen­cy in the re­gion that night.

He says a detective as­si­gned to the case la­ter said his file was not a high prio­ri­ty as no one had been hurt du­ring the rob­be­ry.

Though Cuin won­ders if there is a con­nec­tion with the wor­kers, po­lice say sus­pi­cion alone is not en­ough rea­son to ques­tion so­meone.

SQ Sgt. Bru­no Beau­lieu no­ted that po­lice must have spe­ci­fic proof in or­der to ques­tion any in­di­vi­dual be­lie­ved to be in­vol­ved in a crime.

Beau­lieu said po­lice have not no­ti­ced an in­crease in crimes or rob­be­ries fol­lo­wing ser­vice calls.

But people should ne­ver­the­less call po­lice if they feel un­safe in any si­tua­tion, he ad­ded.

“If you feel sus­pi­cious about a per­son, or un­safe for any rea­son you should al­ways call po­lice. It’s our job to check things out even if it turns out to be no­thing,” no­ted Beau­lieu.

Ho­meow­ners can al­so ask for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and call the main ser­vice pro­vi­der when dea­ling with sub­con­trac­tors if they feel un­sure.

“You can just ve­ri­fy if the per­son has in­deed been sent to your home by the com­pa­ny.”

Back­ground checks

ButCuin­would like to see com­pa­nies that use sub­con­trac­tors take it fur­ther and do back­ground checks on all people connec­ted with a com­pa­ny. He says he’s been spea­king with the com­pa­ny he dealt with to get such ans­wers, which are not for­th­co­ming.

“I tried to get names from the com­pa­ny, but they re­fu­sed to give them to me,” he said.

For now, the couple has just re­tur­ned to their home af­ter va­ca­ting it while wor­kers re­pai­red da­mage in­flic­ted to walls, doors and floo­ring du­ring the rob­be­ry.

“I wan­ted to­make things look and feel as nor­mal as pos­sible for­my­wife,” Cuin said.

He ad­ded that the ex­pe­rience shook her up a great deal.

And the ho­meow­ner said he plans to speak with town of­fi­cials to see if­more can be done to en­sure re­si­dents’ sa­fe­ty.

He al­so plans to speak with those li­ving in his im­me­diate neigh­bou­rhood about loo­king out for each other.


Rob­bers gai­ned en­try to the home through a side door.


James Cuin and his wi­feMi­che­line.

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